by Morinville News Staff
The UCP say new legislation would help Alberta hold opioid manufacturers and wholesalers accountable for opioid-related health-care costs and damages. The Opioid Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act would enable Alberta to participate in B.C.’s proposed national class action suit against these opioid companies.
“This legislation is necessary to participate in the proposed national class action,” said Minister of Health Tyler Shandro in a media release Thursday. “We are proud to stand with our provincial counterparts on this matter and will continue to work alongside them to recover costs of opioid-related illness, injuries and disease.”
Alberta’s bill is similar to opioid costs recovery legislation in B.C. The province believes passing legislation in Alberta would help to strengthen Canada’s negotiating position and promote certification of the class action.
If passed, the legislation will allow Alberta to recover costs on an aggregate basis, rather than calculating individual costs, allow for the recovery of health-care costs, regardless of when the damages occurred, and permit the use of statistical information to establish causation and quantify damages or health-care costs.
“Taxpayers should not have to shoulder the health-care costs resulting from the actions of opioid manufacturers and wholesalers,” said Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Jason Luan. “This is the next step in our efforts to hold these companies accountable for their wrongdoing.”
An average of two Albertans a day continue to die from opioid overdoses. Last year, almost 800 Albertans fatally overdosed on opioids.