MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe is filing a lawsuit against a group of opioid manufacturers.
A press release from a representative for the tribe said that the prescription painkillers have led to a public health crisis among Indian communities.
The group said that in 2014, Native Americans had the highest rate per capita for opioid overdoses, and the Leech Lake tribe specifically has seen the number of opioid-related deaths increase dramatically.
Tribal chair Faron Jackson, Sr. said that he hopes the lawsuit will bring further attention on the issue.
“Our tribal communities have endured many challenges and adversities in our history and found a way to survive. The crisis caused by the proliferation of opiates throughout our communities is the newest threat to our way of life,” he said. “Opioid manufacturers … have put their corporate profit margins over the lives of our people.”
The manufacturers named in the suit were Purdue Pharma, Cephalon, Inc., Janssen Pharmaceuticals, McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health, Inc., and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation.