The Sackler family is being blamed for fuelling the Opioid addiction epidemic in the United States. The family owns the Purdue Pharma which is the manufacturer of OxyContin, a highly addictive Opioid drug believed to be behind the Opioid epidemic in the United States killing almost 200 people daily.
According to Forbes, the Sackler Company is considered to be among the top 20 wealthiest families in the US, with a net-worth of $14 billion.
To most, they recognize the Sackler’s name for their philanthropic generosity towards some of the world leading museums and institutions such as the Yale University, the Guggenheim Museum (US) and the Britain’s Serpentine Gallery to the Royal Academy.
But unknown to many, the family wealth is generated from mainly one product – OxyContin, a popular pain killer launched in 1996.
In the mid-90s, the US pharmaceutical company started marketing the drug, (reportedly stronger than morphine), to be used to treat pain. It was vigorously promoted to the doctors and patients were assured it was safe. The demand led to the slick sales which have resulted in the commercial triumph for its manufacturers – and fuelled the present health tragedy.
The various family members are now facing mass litigation and possible Criminal investigation over their billion-dollar drug. Suffolk County in Long Island, New York recently sued the family for being solely responsible for the painkiller addictions and overdose-related deaths common in the local communities.
The family is at the same time being put into consideration of possible fraud and racketeering charges by the prosecutors in Connecticut and New York. They are saying that unknown to many; the product has been dangerously overprescribed and falsely marketed to doctors and the public.
Paul Hanly, a New York City lawyer accused the family of being essentially a crime family and drug dealers dressed in nice suits and dresses.
The company however, vehemently denies any responsibility of the on-going health epidemic. Purdue Pharma insists that the OxyContin Drug cannot be considered the prime cause of the epidemic since it accounts of only 1.7% of the overall Opioid prescriptions in the US.
A family spokesman added that they were just being icked on’ considering that they were only the source of 2% of the total prescriptions.
However, the family is claimed to be having a second drug making company called Rhodes Pharma. This company is among the largest producers of off-patent Opioids in the United States counted for the 14.4 million Opioid prescriptions giving them a 6% total share of the Opioid market.
That puts the two companies combined in the 7th place among the Opioid manufactures.
Andrew Kolodny who is a professor at the Brandeis University and one of the foremost Experts of the US addiction epidemic further debunked the Sackler family claim of their drug not being responsible for the crisis.
The company Purdue is now being sued by at least 30 states in the United States and according to some closed sources, the company might be unable to meet all the damage costs.
The reason for the speculation was that the Sackler family had taken most of the money made by the company and siphoned it over the past years.