A Vancouver MP is calling on the federal government to investigate drug manufacturers’ role in Canada’s deadly opioid crisis – and to seek financial compensation from the companies.

Opioid overdoses claimed more than 4,000 Canadian lives last year alone, and NDP health critic Don Davies said it’s time Ottawa followed the U.S. government’s lead in trying to hold manufacturers accountable.

“U.S. officials have already secured criminal convictions against top Purdue Pharma executives and recovered nearly $700 million from civil actions, with more in progress,” Davies said in a statement.

“In contrast, Canada’s federal government has neglected to even launch an investigation or seek compensation for the tragic consequences and public costs of addiction to their products.”

Purdue executives pleaded guilty to charges of misbranding Oxycontin in 2007, and the company agreed to pay the U.S. government more than $645 million. It has also paid tens of millions in settlements with dozens of individual states.

Davies said Canada’s government should be investigation whether anything similar happened north of the border.

“If corporate executives minimized or concealed the addictive qualities of these products in the U.S., it is possible that they did so in Canada as well. We need federal action to find out,” he said.

Last year, Purdue Pharma settled a Canadian class action lawsuit over alleged deceptive marketing and paid out $20 million, with $2 million going to provincial health care providers.

As part of the settlement, the company denied all the allegations against it and any wrongdoing.

Davies said that financial compensation is a drop in the bucket of the hundreds of millions provinces have paid to treat additions to prescription and illegal opioids.

“When you add public expenditures on first responders, emergency care and treatment programs, Canadian governments have spent well over a billion dollars to deal with the consequences of these highly addictive products,” Davies said. “We owe it to the memory of those lost to this crisis to hold those who profited to account.”