Sunday Special… …Crisis and corruption – Part Three: A detailed case study of how one family turned a single pill into a globe-spanning financial empire…. ….while throwing the opioid epidemic into overdrive….


“Since 1996, when Oxycontin was brought to market by Purdue Pharma, a branch of the Sackler family’s pharmaceutical empire, more than 200,000 have died from overdoses of painkillers. Thousands more have died after starting on a prescription opioid and then switching to cheaper street drugs, such as heroin.

…dozens of painkillers have flooded the market. Still, Purdue was the first to achieve a dominant share of the market for long-acting opioids, accounting for more than half of prescriptions by 2001.”

The founders came out of a medical background, but marketing and advertising have been at the heart of their success: Arthur Sackler “later became one of the first inductees into the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame” for running a decades earlier campaign for Valium.

“…although billions have been made from tobacco, cars, and firearms, it’s unclear if any of those has generated a family fortune from a single product that approaches the Sacklers’.

…a professor at Stanford who has written extensively about the opioid crisis notes ‘The Sacklers have hidden their connection to their product. They don’t call it Sackler Pharma. They don’t call their pills Sackler pills. And when questioned, they say, Well, it’s a privately held firm, we’re a family, we like to keep our privacy’.”

Yet the family is anything but shy about letting their “good works” be known – and well-known.

“There’s the Sackler Wing at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, which houses the Temple of Dendur from ancient Egypt; Sackler wings at the Louvre and the Royal Academy; stand-alone Sackler museums at Harvard and Peking Universities; and Sackler galleries at the Smithsonian …[etc.]…

The NY Guggenheim has a Sackler Center, and the American Museum of Natural History has a Sackler Educational Lab. ..[and more].. A popular species of pink rose is named after a Sackler. So is an asteroid.”

The article delves into the history of the company, the family, the roots of the opioid crisis, the saga of oxycontin (including prosecution over marketing tactics, and many other investigations, lawsuits and settlements:

Among many other legal actions, “Purdue eventually pleaded guilty to felony charges in 2007 for criminally “misbranding” OxyContin, when it acknowledged exploiting doctors’ misconceptions about oxycodone’s strength.” and for misleadingly labeling the product as having “reduced abuse liability” until 2001. Meanwhile, “The controversy surrounding OxyContin shows little sign of receding.”

The article has much more detail about the whole sad saga and is well worth digging into. Meanwhile, please check in tomorrow when we wrap up our “maxi-series” on the opioid crisis.

#MMJ #Opioids #USpol #UtahNext #TRUCE    

See full article – The Secretive Family Making Billions From the Opioid Crisis