Three Native American tribes in the Dakotas are suing opioid manufacturers and distributors, alleging they concealed and minimized the addiction risk of prescription drugs.
The Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe and the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate sued 24 opioid industry groups in federal court on Jan. 8. Defendants include drug manufacturers Purdue Pharma, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Allergan, and distributors McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Corp.
The lawsuit follows more than 70 similar cases filed across the country. Allegations include deceptive marketing, fraud and violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act.
It is one of the first to tie claims to drugs’ the impact on Native Americans. The Cherokee Nation launched a similar suit in April.
The complaint seeks monetary damages and an “abatement fund” to pay for treatment programs.
The companies did not immediately respond to the suit.