A Poilievre Government Will Launch $44 Billion Lawsuit to Make Big Pharma Pay for Causing Opioid Epidemic

March 14, 2023

Money will go to treatment and recovery to save lives

Ottawa, ON — The Hon. Pierre Poilievre, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and the Official Opposition, released the following statement announcing that a Poilievre government will sue Big Pharma and their consultants for their role in the opioid epidemic:

“After 8 years of Justin Trudeau, Canadians are suffering. Since 2016, 32,000 Canadians have died from opioid-related deaths, and a further 33,000 Canadians have been hospitalized. The NDP-Liberal approach has failed. It has put more drugs on our streets, leading to more addictions, more deaths and more despair.

“But even as Canada suffers through an opioid epidemic, Trudeau has refused to stand up to the greedy pharmaceutical companies who cynically marketed addictive drugs as pain medication. The opioid crisis has its origins in the invention of Oxycontin by Purdue Pharma in 1995. Oxycontin was aggressively promoted and overprescribed, leading to a massive increase in opioid dependency. Opioid prescriptions were handed out for anything and everything, with no sense of the risks. As management consultants, McKinsey advised Big Pharma to get their customers addicted, including by advising them to offer bonuses and rebates to sellers based on the number of drug overdoses in their areas. All of this was taking place while Justin Trudeau’s friend, Dominic Barton, was their managing partner.

“British Columbia has launched a class-action lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors for the costs to Canada’s healthcare system. The federal government has not yet announced whether it will join these lawsuits. A Poilievre government would join as a plaintiff.

“But this is not enough. The opioid epidemic has ravaged our communities, destroyed lives, and devastated families. We must demand justice for the victims of addiction. Today I am announcing that a Poilievre government will go further in seeking justice for our people:

  • A Poilievre government will actively and publicly join the BC lawsuit against Big Pharma and their consultants to cover healthcare costs.
  • A Poilievre government will launch a massive federal lawsuit against Big Pharma, and their consultants to cover the costs of the epidemic to our border security, courts, the criminal justice system, Indigenous programs, lost federal tax revenue and massively expanded treatment programs.
  • The total amount claimed for both lawsuits will be $44 billion. This includes the costs of the federal share of estimated healthcare costs ($3.9 billion), federal money spent on the opioid crisis ($3.0 billion), federal criminal justice system costs ($10.2 billion) and lost tax revenue ($27 billion).
  • Money recovered from this massive lawsuit will fund treatment and recovery programs for people struggling with addiction. We will make sure that all Canadians can access treatment and recovery programs. 

“We will turn hurt into hope, and we will bring home justice for Canadians.”