Cherokee Nation Files Lawsuit Against Big Pharma Over Opioid Epidemic

Tuesday, April 25, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Alex Thomas via TheAntiMedia.org,
ZeroHedge.com
Apr 24, 2017

Late last week, lawyers representing the Cherokee Nation filed a lawsuit against major pharmaceutical companies, claiming they have pumped dangerous painkillers into Native American communities in Oklahoma. The Washington Post obtained a copy of the court filing and reported that the companies are accused of breaking laws by “failing to prevent the diversion of pain pills to the black market.”

Specifically, the suit claims the corporations “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.” With the markets bursting with pain pills, the drugs quickly found their way onto the black market. Lawyers for the Cherokee Nation posit that the companies bear some of the responsibility for that “opioid diversion.”

The claim the opioid crisis has caused the Cherokee Nation to incur “increased spending on law enforcement, medical facilities, drug treatment centers and foster and adoption programs,” the Post reported.

Attorneys hope that by filing the suits in tribal court, they will be able to gain quicker access to records that could show distinct negligence on the part of major drug companies. The suit names McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen, which together control 85% of prescription drug distribution in the United States. Walgreen’s and CVS are also included in the suit.

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