PRESS RELEASEs

 
 
 

 

CHEROKEE NATION LAWSUIT AGAINST MCKESSON, CARDINAL HEALTH, AMERISOURCEBERGEN, CVS HEALTH, WALGREENS AND WAL-MART MOVES TO STATE COURT

TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma – After a procedural delay initiated by the defendants, the Cherokee Nation lawsuit against opioid distributors and retail pharmacies is moving to Oklahoma state court.  The lawsuit, originally filed in tribal court, was filed late Friday in Sequoyah County in the heart of the Cherokee Nation. Read more

 

CHEROKEE NATION ATTORNEY GENERAL HEMBREE ISSUES STATEMENT ON RULING BY U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE KERN

TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma — In response to yesterday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Terence Kern in Cherokee Nation v. McKesson, et. al, Cherokee Nation Attorney General Todd Hembree has issued the following statement. Read more

OPIOID DISTRIBUTORS AND RETAILERS FUNNELED 184 MILLION PAIN PILLS INTO THE CHEROKEE NATION, FUELING THE OPIOID ADDICTION CRISIS

TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma — As part of its campaign to end the opioid crisis and hold opioid distributors and pharmacy chains accountable, the Cherokee Nation today released disturbing new data from the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs demonstrating the dramatic oversupply of prescription opioid drugs by these companies. In 2015 and 2016, distributors shipped and pharmacies dispensed 184 million opioid pain pills in the 14 counties in northeast Oklahoma that comprise the Cherokee Nation – or 153 doses for every man, woman, and child in the area. Read more

PHARMACIES, OPIOID DISTRIBUTORS PRIORITIZE PROFITS OVER PEOPLE IN REPLY TO LANDMARK CHEROKEE NATION LAWSUIT

TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma— Cherokee Nation Attorney General Todd Hembree released the following statement today in response to McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health, Inc., AmerisourceBergen, CVS Health, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., filing a complaint in federal court asking for an injunction to prevent the Cherokee Nation’s recent lawsuit against them from proceeding in tribal court. In April, the Cherokee Nation sued the pharmacies and opioid distributors in Cherokee Nation tribal court, charging them with failing to prevent the flow of illegally prescribed opioids to men, women and children in the Cherokee Nation. Read More

CHEROKEE NATION FILES LANDMARK LAWSUIT TO HOLD PHARMACIES, OPIOID DISTRIBUTORS ACCOUNTABLE

TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma—Today, the Cherokee Nation filed a lawsuit against McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health, Inc., AmerisourceBergen, CVS Health, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., charging the companies with failing to prevent the flow of illegally prescribed opioids to men, women and children in the Cherokee Nation. Read More

 

LATEST NEWS

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THE HILL: Battling addiction in the Cherokee Nation

By Nikki Baker-Lidmore. I see the impact of the opioid epidemic on the Cherokee Nation through a heartbreaking lens — the eyes of our Cherokee children born addicted. Every month, I see numerous babies fighting for their life as they begin the torturous process of opioid withdrawal — bodies shaking, hearts racing, crying inconsolably, and left with permanent developmental delays. Words cannot begin to describe their ordeal. Read More

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Huffington Post: Combatting The Opioid Crisis At Its Source

By Todd Hembree. In the Cherokee Nation, where I serve as Attorney General, I have seen the opioid crisis worsen every year, breaking up more families and taking more lives, as the prescription opioid industry increased its profits by flooding our community with more and more lethal painkillers. Read More

NEWSWEEK: DRUG CRISIS RATTLES CHEROKEE NATION, WITH MORE CHILDREN BORN ADDICTED TO OPIOIDS AND MOVED INTO FOSTER HOMES

By Josh Saul. The number of prescription opioids sold on Cherokee National tribal lands is even higher than previously thought, and the resulting addictions are tearing families apart and threatening the existence of the tribe. Almost 90 million opioid pills were dispensed in the.. Cherokee Nation’s land last year, which means about 96 pills were sold to each adult. Read More

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OKLAHOMAN: Cherokee Nation: 107 opioid pills per adult were sold in tribe's district in 2015

By Graham Lee Brewer. More than 100 pills were sold for every adult in the Cherokee Nation's tribal lands in 2015, prosecutors for the country's second-largest tribe wrote in an affidavit filed Friday in U.S. District Court. In April, the Cherokee Nation became the first tribe ever to sue pharmaceutical providers for their alleged role in the country's opioid epidemic. Read More

oklahoman: Cherokee nation chief: fighting for justice for our people

By Bill John Baker. When the U.S. surgeon general visited Oklahoma in May 2016, he declared the “prescription opioid epidemic that is sweeping across the U.S. has hit Indian country particularly hard.” This is absolutely felt in the Cherokee Nation, where opioid-related overdoses have more than doubled in recent years and more Cherokee Nation citizens suffer from opioid addiction. Read More

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WASHINGTON POST: DRUGMAKERS AND DISTRIBUTORS FACE BARRAGE OF LAWSUITS OVER OPIOID EPIDEMIC

By Scott Higham & Lenny Bernstein. The companies that manufacture and distribute highly addictive painkillers are facing a barrage of lawsuits for the toll their product has taken on communities across the country as  the worst drug epidemic in U.S. history continues to escalate. Read More

Fortune: As America’s Opioid Crisis Spirals, Giant Drug Distributor McKesson is Feeling the Pain

By Erika Fry. America is suffering through a full-blown opioid epidemic—and it’s hardly confined to West Virginia. It is now significantly more likely that an American will die of a drug overdose than in a car crash. Now the distributors are being called to account. Read More

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STAT: ‘It can tear a family apart’: The opioid crisis sweeps through Cherokee Nation

By Megan Thielking. The rate of drug-related deaths among American Indian and Alaska Native people has almost quadrupled since 1999, according to the Indian Health Service. It’s now double the rate in the US as a whole. Oklahoma — home to the 120,000 citizens of Cherokee Nation — leads the country in prescription painkiller abuse. Read More

CNN: CHEROKEE NATION SUES PHARMACIES, DRUG DISTRIBUTORS OVER OPIOID EPIDEMIC

By Michael Nedelman. The Cherokee Nation has accused the companies of not complying with federal drug regulations, which include keeping detailed information on the medications they sell, protecting pills from theft and refusing to fill "suspicious" prescriptions. The companies "have turned a blind eye," the lawyers wrote, while opioid pills have fallen into the wrong hands. Read More

VOX: THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC: AMERICA’S DEADLIEST DRUG OVERDOSE CRISIS

By German Lopez. The opioid epidemic now causes tens of thousands of deadly overdoses every year. As America comes to terms with the death toll, there's a growing push to crack down on painkiller prescriptions and provide more drug treatment options for people struggling with addiction. Read More

NPR: Cherokee Nation Sues Wal-Mart, CVS, Walgreens Over Tribal Opioid Crisis

By Nate Hegyi. Todd Hembree, attorney general for the Cherokee Nation, says drug companies didn't do enough to keep painkillers off the black market or to stop the overprescription of these powerful narcotics, which include OxyContin and Vicodin. "They flooded this market," Hembree says. "And they knew — or should've known — that they were doing so." 

 

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The Washington Post: Cherokee Nation sues drug firms

By Scott Higham and Lenny Bernstein. Lawyers for the Cherokee Nation opened a new line of attack against the pharmaceutical industry Thursday, filing a lawsuit in tribal court that accuses the nation’s six top drug distributors and pharmacies of flooding communities in Oklahoma with hundreds of millions of highly addictive pain pills. Read More

 


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