Follow‑up: Latest letter to Canadian Fed. & Prov. Governments Re: Opioid Crisis

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Follow‑up: Latest letter to Canadian Federal and Provincial Governments Calling for Criminal Investigation of Opioid Crisis

Posted by TRRU on April 27, 2018 in News
Oxycodone Bottles
Oxycodone Bottles

On April 20, a group of researchers, including several TRRU members and collaborators, sent a letter to the Canadian federal and provincial governments calling for a criminal investigation of the Opioid crisis. See the previous letter here

One week later, the same group has now sent follow-up letters. We have made the full-text available below.  Attached to the latest letters is a document listing critical evidence for the need for such an investigation. View the full document [PDF - 3.9 mB]. 

 

LETTER TO PRIME MINISTER

 

Dear Prime Minister,

We just sent to the Attorney General and the Minister of Health a document listing facts that support our call for a criminal investigation. The attached document demonstrates that evidence of wrongdoing is readily available to your Government. Please let us know if you would like any additional information. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Nav Persaud, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
Andrew Boozary, Resident Physician, University of Toronto
Janice Graham, Professor, Dalhousie University
Matthew Herder, Associate Professor, Dalhousie University
David Juurlink, Professor, University of Toronto
Trudo Lemmens, Professor, University of Toronto
Joel Lexchin, Professor Emeritus, York University
Barbara Mintzes, Affiliate Associate Professor, University of British Columbia

LETTER TO ATTORNEY GENERAL & MINISTER OF HEALTH

 

To the Attorney General for Canada and the Minister of Health for Canada,

This message provides new information in follow up to our letter sent one week ago.

The Government of Canada recognizes that an opioid crisis is killing thousands of Canadians each year and that aggressive marketing of opioid products is one important cause of the crisis.

We urge the Government of Canada to (1) launch a criminal investigation into the marketing of opioids in Canada and (2) directly compensate victims of the opioid crisis with funds recovered from opioid manufacturers with new legislation.

While Purdue has already pleaded guilty to illegally marketing opioids in the United States, no opioid manufacturer has been prosecuted in Canada. The same long-acting opioids that fuelled the opioid crisis in the United States are marketed in Canada and Canadian prescribing rates for these medications accelerated with the Canadian opioid-related death rate. It would be very surprising if Canada was spared the inappropriate marketing practices that admittedly took place in the United States.
 
The Canadian victims of the opioid crisis have been forced to seek justice on their own through a civil suit filed against Purdue Pharma. The proposed settlement is much smaller than what the victims sought. The Government of Canada can divert funds from opioid manufacturers who continue to profit from the crisis to the victims of the crisis. Similar legislation is in place for tobacco companies and the victims of their inappropriate marketing practices.

While other actions are necessary to end the opioid crisis and to alleviate suffering, and Canadian Governments are seeking to improve care for some people affected by the crisis, the two proposed actions can help promote justice and help turn the tide in the opioid crisis that is expected to kill several thousand more Canadians this year.

We have attached a document listing facts that support our call for a criminal investigation. This document demonstrates that evidence of wrongdoing is readily available to you. Please let us know if you would like any additional information.

Sincerely,
Nav Persaud, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
Andrew Boozary, Resident Physician, University of Toronto
Janice Graham, Professor, Dalhousie University
Matthew Herder, Associate Professor, Dalhousie University
David Juurlink, Professor, University of Toronto
Trudo Lemmens, Professor, University of Toronto
Joel Lexchin, Professor Emeritus, York University
Barbara Mintzes, Affiliate Associate Professor, University of British Columbia