Above: Health Minister Tyler Shandro, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Jason Luan and Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Doug Schweitzer announce Alberta will support B.C.’s proposed class action against opioid manufacturers and distributors.
by Morinville News Staff
The province announced Tuesday it will participate in the proposed class action filed in British Columbia to recoup costs of opioids from opioid manufacturers and distributors.
Last year there were almost 800 opioid-related overdose fatalities and 4200 calls on Alberta emergency services.
The action is brought on behalf of all federal, provincial and territorial governments and agencies that have paid health-care, pharmaceutical and treatment costs related to opioids from 1996 to the present.
“Responding to opioid overdoses has taken a tremendous toll on our families and communities, as well as adding to the demands on our health system,” said Minister of Health Tyler Shandro. “Our government will do our part to hold to account those who bear some responsibility for the wave of opioid addiction and overdose deaths we’re seeing.”
Jason Luan, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions said Albertans have paid a high price for the irresponsible actions of opioid manufacturers and distributors.
“While we cannot bring back those we have lost, we can recover some of the enormous financial costs Albertans have paid and continue to pay,” Luan said. “And we’ll take a balanced approach going forward, including more access to treatment and recovery services for people with addiction.”
The province says it is working to improve access to treatment and recovery services for Albertans dealing with addiction and their loved ones. This work includes a $140 million to improve mental health and addiction care in the province, including $40 million specifically for opioid response. Additionally, the province says it is creating 4,000 more publicly funded treatment spaces so more Albertans can access life-saving addiction treatment.
“Our government is committed to ensuring our communities are safe, secure and protected. All Albertans have seen the terrible toll that opioid addiction has inflicted on our province and the individuals and families who suffer from the misery they create,” said Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Doug Schweitzer. “Alberta will support the proposed national class action to hold manufacturers and distributors of opioids accountable for their role in the ongoing addiction crisis in Alberta and across Canada.”