Every day people in Canada and the U.S. are dying from drug overdoses, most of which are connected to opioids.
Now, an Oklahoma judge has made what is considered a landmark decision against a drug manufacturer holding them responsible.
Johnson and Johnson have been ordered to pay 572 million dollars U-S in fines because it aggressively marketed opioids in the state which it is claimed helped to drive the addiction epidemic.
To find out what effect this will have on the crisis, I spoke to William Bogart a professor emeritus of law at the University of Windsor and author of the book “Off The Street: Legalizing Drugs.”
Drug companies are facing thousands of lawsuits, and already a couple of major manufacturers have offered billions of dollars in out of court settlements.
In Canada where literally thousands have died from drug overdoses, there are also many cases against drug companies underway.
The Oklahoma decision is being appealed by Johnson and Johnson, but professor Bogart says whatever effect the U.S. decision may or may not have on the Canadian courts, litigation will not stop the problem.
He says many medical and social experts say such things as the radical steps of providing clean drugs, and safe injection sites will help. These would be places where individuals can be monitored and counselled to eventually wean themselves from the addiction.