Cherokee Nation Sues Big Pharma For Opioid Crisis
April 20, 2017
The nation’s top six drug distributors and pharmacies flooded communities in Oklahoma with highly addictive pain pills, say lawyers for the Cherokee Nation in a lawsuit filed this week. The suit says the companies violated sovereign Cherokee laws by failing to block the pills from making their way to the black market, profiting from the devastating opioid epidemic, and decimating communities in the state. “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,” the lawsuit claims. The Nation’s lawyers say that by filing the suit in tribal court they hope to gain quicker access to internal corporate records. The suit names drug distributing firms McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen, as well as pharmacies CVS, Walgreens and Walmart. The opioid epidemic has led to the death of nearly 180,000 people since 2000.
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