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BC wants in on opioid claim

The British Columbia government says any proposed settlement from opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma needs to include Canadian claims for the devastation created by the overdose crisis.

Purdue, the maker of the pain drug OxyContin, filed for bankruptcy in the United States and proposed a multibillion-dollar plan to settle with thousands of state and local governments.

B.C. Attorney General David Eby says the province has been monitoring the developments including a tentative agreement that proposes to resolve the claims as part of a global resolution.

However, a statement from Purdue Pharma Canada says it is a separate company from the U.S. firm and the actions taken to settle litigation in America don't directly affect business here.

Eby says the province remains "ready and willing" to participate in the effort to achieve the resolution but if B.C. is not included in the process then the government will to continue its lawsuit that names Purdue and several other opioid makers.

The province filed a proposed class-action lawsuit a year ago alleging drug manufactures falsely marketed opioids as less addictive than other pain medicines, triggering an overdose crisis that has killed thousands.

Eby says if the company wants to achieve a global resolution then any proposed agreement needs to account for payment to Canadian claims.



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