Jenny Kwan, MP

Member of Parliament, Vancouver East

Opioid Crisis

Pharmaceutical companies have been profiteering from the pain of Canadians.

Now the opioid overdose crisis is claiming lives every day.

There is no doubt that this crisis unfolding right now in communities big and small right across Canada is nothing short of a national emergency. The suffering and damage this crisis is causing not just in the Downtown Eastside—the epicentre for the crisis—but throughout Vancouver East, and cities across BC and Canada. I am very grateful for the herculean efforts of first responders, frontline workers, medical practitioners, family members, peers and advocates who have worked and continue to work tirelessly to save lives in the midst of this terrible crisis.

I have repeatedly risen in the House of Commons to draw attention to this urgent issue. There is no question that we need real leadership from the federal government to respond decisively to this public emergency. We need InSite to be further resourced. We need additional supervised injection sites across the country. We need increased support for first responders and frontline workers. We need effective and accessible opioid maintenance treatment options. We need a comprehensive and coordinated strategy between all levels of government to stop the loss of lives.

Families Deserves Answers.

I have a constituent whose daughter was an active, engaged straight A student.

When she was 14, she underwent four surgeries. The surgeries left her in much pain. To manage the pain, her doctors prescribed OxyContin, and with each surgery, the dosage increased. The pain persisted, but one day the doctors just stopped prescribing the meds. Now addicted to opioids and still in pain, this young woman found herself buying street drugs to manage, is homeless and struggling to survive. My constituent lives in fear that her daughter will die of an overdose.

Sadly, this is not an isolated story. Clearly, the opioid crisis is a national health emergency. In the U.S., federal authorities have already secured criminal pleas and over $600 million in fines, damages, and other costs from Purdue Pharma for misbranding OxyContin with the intent to defraud and mislead. I am calling on the government to launch an investigation into the role drug companies may have played in fuelling the opioid crisis and seek meaningful compensation.

It’s time to take Big Pharma to court and stop the manufacturing of addiction.

In the US, criminal pleas were secured from opioid manufactures and the US government received over $600 million in damages from opioid manufacturers for misbranding.  I am calling on the government to launch an investigation into the role drug companies may have played in fueling the opioid crisis and to seek meaningful compensation for the public costs of this crisis.

You can count on me to continue advocating hard on this important issue.