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The Cherokee Nation Of Oklahoma Settles Opioid Case

Cardinal Health is one of four of the biggest American health companies have tentatively agreed to pay $26 billion to settle their opioid liability. But tax breaks could allow them to claw back $4 billion.
Darron Cummings
The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma has accepted a $75 million dollar settlement with opioid manufacturers Cardinal Health, McKesson and Amerisourcebergen.

The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma has accepted a $75 million settlement with opioid manufacturers McKesson, Amerisourcebergen and Cardinal Health.

The case filed in federal court in 2017 alleged that opioid related overdoses more than doubled in the Cherokee Nation over an eleven year period. Cherokee health officials say the huge quantities of opioids distributed during that same time period led to a significant burden on the tribe's healthcare system.

Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. says the money will be invested in mental health and substance abuse programs.

"And so we have to make whole some those damages as best we can-money expended that we wouldn't have had to expend," said Hoskin.

The Cherokee Nation is still seeking damages from some opioid distributors including Walmart, CVS and Walgreens.

This report was produced by the Oklahoma Public Media Exchange, a collaboration of public media organizations. Help support collaborative journalism by donating at the link at the top of this webpage.

Allison Herrera is a radio and print journalist who's worked for PRX's The World, Colorado Public Radio as the climate and environment editor and as a freelance reporter for High Country News’ Indigenous Affairs desk.
Oklahoma Public Media Exchange
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