The New Democrats are calling out the Trudeau Government for a failure to take on Big Pharma.

Pharmaceuticals giant Johnson and Johnson has been ordered to pay $572 million dollars for fueling the opioid crisis in the United States.

The Liberal government hasn’t joined the Horgan government’s legal action seeking compensation from drug companies for the costs of addressing the opioid crisis.

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor said this news adds credibility to the NDP’s case.

“Why that news is significant is because it now adds credibility to one of our long-standing asks to the federal government, which is that they should join the with the BC government and start exploring our legal options under federal law,” said MacGregor.

The New Democrats said the Trudeau government refused to meet with pharmaceutical companies 875 times and federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said, “each and every day for the last two years, ten Canadian families lost a loved one because of the opioid crisis.”

The number of opioids prescribed in Canada is one of the highest rates in the country, as 21.3 million prescriptions were filled in 2017.

MacGregor said there is no silver bullet solution to the opioid crisis and those responsible for pushing drugs on the public need to be held accountable.

“It’s going to require a number of different solutions to tackle the opioid crisis, but one of those is also trying to find out how major pharmaceutical giants pushed opioids to doctors to prescribe them to patients for pain relief, which in some cases led to a path of addiction.”

Johnson and Johnson’s lawyers have responded by calling this decision “flawed,” adding that the company was part of a lawful, heavily regulated industry subject to federal oversight.

One of the lawyers, Sabrina Strong was quoted as saying “you can’t sue your way out of the opioid abuse crisis and litigation isn’t the answer.”