Native American group sues drug companies over opioid epidemic

According to a new Washington Post report, a lawsuit has been filed by Cherokee Nation legal representatives against U.S. pharmacies and distributors.

It’s the first lawsuit formally filed by an American Indian nation against domestic drug companies. This lawsuit accuses the companies of being responsible for flooding communities with hundreds of millions of highly addictive pain drugs and opiods.

The suit specifically cites addictive drugs like oxycodone and hydrocodone as being prime abusive substances. Following this accusation, the Cherokee believe the companies who create and sell these drugs are the reason opioids are spilling into the black market.

Companies listed in the lawsuit include AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson Corp., as well as major corporations like CVS, Walgreens and Wal-Mart.

The suit claims the following:

“Defendants turned a blind eye to the problem of opioid diversion and profited from the sale of prescription opioids to the citizens of the Cherokee Nation in quantities that far exceeded the number of prescriptions that could reasonably have been used for legitimate medical purposes.”

“Today, we are facing another challenge, a plague that has been set upon the Cherokee people by these corporations,” Todd Hembree, attorney general for the Cherokees, told the Post. “Their main goal is profit, and this scourge has cost lives and the Cherokee Nation millions.”

H/T: The Hill

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