Report: billionaire Sackler family, accused of encouraging the opioid epidemic
The Sackler family owns Purdue Pharma, which created the infamous opioid painkiller OxyContin Richard Sackler and his billionaire family, who have been blamed for fosteringthe nation’s ongoing opioid epidemic, owna second pharmaceutical company. The Sacklers are the owners of Purdue Pharma, which created the addictive opioid painkiller OxyContin. But the family alsoowna second company based in Rhode Island, Rhodes Pharma, according to a Financial Times report released Sunday.
Rhodes Pharma is of one of the largest creators of off-patent generic opioids. The company produces several opioid-based painkillers that contain addictive drugs including oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine. Rhodes Pharma was started in 2007, according to companyregistration documents obtained by the Financial Times.
Purdue Pharma and Rhodes Pharma combined were responsible for 14.4 million opioid prescriptions in theU.S. The Sacklers are worth a combined$13 billion, according to a 2016 Forbes report. Thevast majority of their wealth, shared among 20 family members, is derived fromdrug-making. Purdue Pharma has faced hundreds of lawsuits over the years for fueling the opioid epidemic.
More than 63,000 people in the U.S. died from drug overdoses in 2016, of which 66 percent were related to opioid use. The lawsuit also said Purdue Pharma’s marketing not only “exaggerated the benefits” of the medication but the company also told medical practitioners that they were in jeopardy of violating theHippocratic Oath if they didn’t treat patients suffering from certain conditions with opioids.