A group of Native Americans is suing CVS and other pharmacies, arguing that they are doing tremendous harm to their citizens.
Cherokee Nation has just filed a big lawsuit against CVS, Walgreens, and other drug companies, claiming that they are actively harming them. Cherokee Nation accuses them of not doing enough to stop prescription painkillers from creating an opioid addiction crisis in the tribal community.
The lawsuit was filed in tribal court on Thursday and claims that companies are monitoring opioid prescriptions and orders like they should, and that certain patterns should be raising red flags. As a result, they argue, the companies are legally responsible for the situationa nd should be reporting to federal officials.
“These drug wholesalers and retailers have profited greatly by allowing the Cherokee Nation to become flooded with prescription opioids,” the lawsuit alleges. “They have habitually turned a blind eye to known or knowable problems in their own supply chains.”
In a statement to STAT, CVS Health said it has “stringent policies, procedures and tools to ensure that our pharmacists properly exercise their corresponding responsibility to determine whether a controlled substance prescription was issued for a legitimate medical purpose before filling it.”
“Tribal nations have survived disease, removal from our homelands, termination and other adversities, and still we prospered. However, I fear the opioid epidemic is emerging as the next great challenge of our modern era,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker in a statement. “As we fight this epidemic in our hospitals, our schools and our Cherokee homes, we will also use our legal system to make sure the companies, who put profits over people while our society is crippled by this epidemic, are held responsible for their actions.”