A tribe in Oklahoma has filed a lawsuit accusing 26 drug manufacturers and distributors of contributing to the tribe's opioid epidemic by fraudulently misrepresenting the risks and benefits of addictive painkillers.
The lawsuit filed by the Ponca Tribe Tuesday is similar to a number of other lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors nationwide.
The lawsuit alleges that opioid manufacturers and distributors "flooded the market with false declarations designed to convince doctors, patients and government entities that prescription opioids posed a low risk of addiction." It alleges those false claims have resulted in an opioid epidemic, with 1 in 10 Native Americans over the age of 12 using prescription pain medicine for nonprescriptive purposes.
Drug manufacturers listed as defendants say opioid abuse is a serious health issue, but deny wrongdoing.