The family behind America’s opioid crisis

The family behind America’s opioid crisis: New York and London socialites who developed OxyContin made BILLIONS off of the drug’s skyrocketing sales despite claims of false advertising that labelled it as LESS addictive than other painkillers

The Sackler brothers represented America’s wildest dream: three Brooklyn-born sons of Jewish immigrants who became physicians and went on to found a pharmaceutical dynasty that is today worth more than $13 billion.

The family used their fortune to invest in the arts and philanthropy, with Sackler wings at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Louvre in Paris – to name just a few. The Sackler name, however, is conspicuously missing from anything associated with their main source of income, Purdue Pharmaceuticals and its related companies, or its billion dollar product: OxyContin. You won’t find them on the company’s logo, on their bottle labels, or even on their website.

For years, the Sacklers’ company billed OxyContin as a safer alternative to morphine. This led to rampant over-prescription of the drug, which has created a snowball effect of addiction to opioid-based painkillers, according to critics, essentially kick-starting the modern epidemic President Trump has labelled as a public health emergency.