Believing that opioid manufacturers and ditributors are to blame for the opioid crisis in America, three Native American tribes sued them for hiding and minimizing the addictive properties of
opioids and other prescription drugs. The following tribes are suing: The Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Santee Sioux Tribe and Wahpeton Oyate.
Some of the drug manufacturers that these Nativae American tribes are suing are Teya Pharmaceutical Industries and Allergan, and Purdue Pharma, McKesson Corporation, AmerisourceBergen Corporation and Cardinal Health Inc. are distributors that are also being sued by these tribes.
This is one of the first suits that has been done by Native Americans. Another suit was done by the Cherokee Nation in April of 2017. The legal represeentatives for the Dakota tribes are former South Dakota US Attorney Brendan Johnson and former North Dakota US Attorney Tim Purdon.
Purdon believes that the opioid crisis had a large impact on e Native American people. He has hope that the Dakota tribes should do the same as these three tribes.
In the complaint, it reported that Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) have done studies on Native American opioid use and one study said that one in 10 Native Americans have been using opioids for non-medical purposes in 2012. This is twice the rate that whites use opioids.
Last October, based on statistics from 2016, CDC noted that about 64,000 individuals have died from OD’ing. In 2017, about 2017 percent less people died of overdoses. About 75 percent of drug overdosed people have died from opioids.
In South Dakota, between 2015 and 2016, 28 percent of Native Americans were patients for opioids while Native Americans were about 18 percent of opioid-overdosed deaths. Only 9 percent of South Dakotans are Native Americans.
Johnson is concerned as this crisis are deeply hurting public health and law-enforcement services. Resources for addiction therapy are being drained of financing, The cost of caring for the children of opioid-addicted parents are rising quite fast.
The three Native American tribes in the suit are accusing the defendants of fraud, negligent conduct, deceptive marketing and violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, otherwise known as RICO. The tribe wants a trial by jury and want some of the monetary damages to pay for opioid treatment.