Sackler Family Role in Opioid Crisis Highlighted in Lawsuits

Lawsuits filed by the attorneys general in Massachusetts and New York have brought to light the extensive involvement of the Sackler family, which owns OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, in the opioid crisis, The New York Times reports.

The lawsuits cite many documents indicating that family members continued to forcefully push to enlarge the market for OxyContin and other opioids, even after Purdue Pharma admitted in 2007 that it had misrepresented the drug’s addictive qualities and potential for abuse.

Connecticut, Rhode Island and Utah also have filed suit against members of the Sackler family. A coalition of more than 500 counties, cities and Native American tribes has named the family in a case in the Southern District of New York.

The Sackler family is calling the Massachusetts lawsuit false and misleading, WBUR reports. Lawyers for the family say the claims against the Sacklers must be dismissed.

Heroin & the Opioid Epidemic: From Understanding to Action

Heroin and other opioids are ravaging communities across America. Heroin-related deaths increased by more than five times between 2010 and 2017, and drug deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are seeing a sharp rise as well.


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