The Sackler family has an asteroid named after them. They have wings in several museums of art—the Louvre being among the list—they have the Sackler Courtyard, a staircase in Berlin, even a pink rose. The namesake comes from one of the richest families in the world. They have a deep-rooted foundation in drugs, they gained financial success after marketing Librium and Valium, and are responsible for making billions off of other people’s pain and addiction: Prescription Opioid Addiction Help · A MedTruth Guide
Now, the family is looking to find another way to make money, while also saving the lives of the people they are responsible for. After years of aggressive marketing of OxyContin, the company is finding ways to create response-efforts like naloxone overdose kits, radio campaigns, and a new drug that curbs opioid addiction. The drug, Buprenorphine, is a mild opiate that would help addicts that crave stronger drugs. Luke Nasta, a director for an addiction center in New York said that Purdue Pharma “shouldn’t be allowed to peddle any more synthetic opiates—and that includes opioid substitutes.”
The Sackler family owns Purdue Pharma, the company behind the opioid product, OxyContin (oxycodone) which was introduced in 1996. In May, the family was sued by the state of Massachusetts on behalf of over a hundred people who have died from the opioid epidemic. The family stated that the product has a “low risk of misuse” although executives of the company were aware that the product was being sold to addicts.
The company profited from the opioid epidemic and knew about the death and danger of the product. The history of the drug is rich with target sales. From 1996 to 2000, sales grew from “$48 million to almost $1.1 billion.” And in 2004, the drug OxyContin became the United States’ “leading drug of abuse.”
The family who supplied the deathly drug to millions is once again going to be profiting off of the lives of those who are addicted. It’s a dark reality of the public health emergency and how the capitalistic gains that come along with the crisis.