The Sackler Family and the Opioid Crisis in Canada

How OxyContin Devastated Canadian Communities

Purdue Pharma brought OxyContin to the Canadian market in 1996. As in the United States, aggressive and misleading marketing led to the overprescription of OxyContin across Canada and contributed to the opioid epidemic.

Rapid Rise in Opioid Prescriptions and Overdoses

In the early 2000s, prescription opioid sales quadrupled in Canada. Opioid overdose deaths rose steadily during this time. Hardest hit were First Nations communities and rural towns in provinces like Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta

Focus on High-Prescribing Doctors in Canadian Cities

Purdue targeted high-opioid prescribing doctors, including in major metro areas like Toronto and Vancouver. Illicit OxyContin use and opioid prescribing thrived even in large Canadian cities

Selling Abusable OxyContin in Canada After Reformulation in U.S

Though Purdue reformulated OxyContin in 2010 to deter abuse in the U.S., it continued selling easily abused original OxyContin in Canada for another year. This flooded the black market and fueled the crisis as people sought abusable oxycodone.

Delayed Response from Canadian Authorities

Canadian regulators were slower to restrict opioid prescribing compared to the U.S. Opioid overdoses rose even as U.S. numbers stabilized. Canada has only recently begun holding opioid makers accountable.

Seeking Justice for Canadian First Nations

Canadian First Nations have filed a class action against Purdue and the Sacklers seeking damages for the devastaion wrought upon their people by the opioid crisis. They have aggressively sought to hold the Sacklers accountable. More action is needed to support Fiirst Nations communities harmed and curb the effects of the opioid epidemic.

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