Sackler Means Death

I want to make sure something horrible turns up whenever future Sacklers google their family name. Ditto for the institutions that have plastered that name on buildings and wings, people who might actually care about their reputations. Now comes this development: Purdue Pharma Pleads Guilty to Criminal Charges for Opioid Sales (NYT 10.20.20).

The Justice Department announced an $8 billion settlement with the company. Members of the Sackler family will pay $225 million in civil penalties but criminal investigations continue.

That’s chump change to the Sacklers. It’s just the cost of doing business. The Sacklers (worth roughly $13 billion) have brought nothing but misery and death to our nation in their pursuit of wealth. They need to be in prison. According to the CDC:

Opioids—mainly synthetic opioids (other than methadone)—are currently the main driver of drug overdose deaths. Opioids were involved in 46,802 overdose deaths in 2018 (69.5% of all drug overdose deaths). Two out of three (67.0%) opioid-involved overdose deaths involve synthetic opioids.

From GoLocal Prov, ” . . . little known to most, Rhode Island is home to one of the world’s largest oxycodone manufacturing plants — and the company’s marketing functions.” This piece has a comprehensive look at Purdue subsidiary, Rhodes Technologies in Coventry.

October is National Substance Abuse Prevention month. Let’s celebrate by working to send as many Sacklers to prison as possible. The federal government had the power to put the Sacklers in jail, but negotiated a settlement instead.

However, various attorneys general — including A.G. Peter Neronha of Rhode Island — are pursuing their claims. From a press release last September:

We are committed to continuing to aggressively pursue our claims against Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers. Today we filed a complaint against additional members of the Sackler family for the role that they played in the distribution of these highly addictive opioids in Rhode Island.

This story has been shocking the nation for years now.

John Oliver’s first segment about OxyContin and the Sacklers ran in 2016. He discussed the first settlement with the government back in 2007 in which the family owned company and its officers had to pay $634 million in fines.

Proof that the Sacklers were undeterred by those fines can be found in John Oliver’s comprehensive second segment about the Sacklers: Opioids II (4.15.19), in which Michael Keaton, Bryan Cranston, and Richard Kind read from Richard Sackler’s deposition. It is genius. More at Vanity Fair, April, 2019.

Oliver highlights how many of the institutions that have benefited from the Sackler’s “philanthropy”* in the past are running away from the name; this includes the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Louvre, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Guggenheim. Brown University got caught holding onto a $1 million donation, hoping the whole thing would blow over. By September of 2019 Brown — instead of sending the money back as they should have — decided to work with La Fondation Sackler to “redirect” the funds to worthy, related causes. So who are the officials that Brown will be working with at that organization? Kathie Sackler, Marissa Sackler, Michael Sackler, Mortimer Sackler, Theresa Sackler . . . you get the idea. At the time of this Providence Journal report, Brown had redirected all of $100,000.

For more about the Sacklers personal roles in the opioid crisis go to the New York Times April 1, 2019.

See also: Pharma: Greed, Lies, and the Poisoning of America by Gerald Posner. (NYT review.)

*The prefix phila- means “love” which has nothing to do with this family’s money or life.

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