The Sacklers: Charitable Giving Does Not Excuse Improper Business Conduct
— March 31, 2019
By Michael Posner
But in the last several years, the Sackler family and their main commercial holding, Purdue Pharma, have gained notoriety for a different reason: the role Purdue Pharma and its flagship drug, OxyContin, have played in fueling the opioid crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over the past two decades, more than 200,000 people in this country have died from overdoses of highly addictive opioids, like OxyContin. While this and other opioids can and often do have huge benefits for those suffering from intense chronic pain, the lives of hundreds of thousands of others have been ruined as they have struggled to overcome the debilitating effects of over-prescription and drug addiction.
The Sackler family and their representatives vigorously deny any responsibility for these devastating personal tragedies. Responding to a lawsuit filed this week against members of the family by the New York Attorney General, a Sackler spokesperson called the allegations “a misguided attempt to place blame where it does not belong for a complex public health crisis.” But recent revelations tell a different story. While representatives of Purdue Pharma have portrayed Sackler family members as being distant from the day-to-day operations of the company, evidence presented in pending court cases paint a much darker picture.
Read the full Forbes article.
Michael Posner is a Professor of Business and Society and Director of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights.