Sen. Fischer accepts cash from companies accused in lawsuits of contributing to the opioid crisis

Some of the big drug companies, being sued by the Ponca Nation of Nebraska over the spread of the opioid crisis, have contributed thousands of dollars to Sen. Deb Fischer’s election campaign.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska and Knox County have waded into the legal fight over the nation’s opioid addiction epidemic, arguing that the Native American people and the county’s budget are suffering at the hands of the nation’s prescription drug makers and sellers.

The lawsuits were filed in U.S. District Court in Omaha against 25 defendant companies.

Fischer has accepted donations from Political Action Committees (PACs) affiliated with McKesson Corp. Mallinckrodt, Walgreens and CVS — all of which are named in the lawsuits.

In all, Fischer has has taken $67,000 from pharmaceutical companies.

“Sen. Fischer is certainly aware of the opioid crisis, which is preying on people throughout our country, including Nebraska,’’ said Nebraska Democratic Party Chair Jane Kleeb. “Yet she turns a blind eye when those companies accused of contributing the crisis open their checkbooks.”

The lawsuits are part of more than 550 filed around the country to hold the pharmaceutical industry accountable for the the nation’s opioid problem.

The lawsuits filed in Nebraska allege that the companies have caused a public health crisis by recklessly manufacturing and distributing opioid drugs. The Ponca Nation’s lawsuit alleges that more than 95 percent of people jailed in Knox county test positive for illegal drugs, including opioids and opioid-laced marijuana.

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