• The Purdue Case Is One in a Wave of Opioid Lawsuits. What Should Their Outcome Be ? | The New Yorker

    Two years ago, when I was reporting on the opioid epidemic in one West Virginia county, the exorbitant cost of it—both socially and financially—perpetually astonished me. Narcan, the overdose-reversal drug, yanks people back from the edge of death to live another day and maybe, in time, conquer their addiction. Watching paramedics administer it was like witnessing a miracle over and over again. But Narcan is expensive—it cost Berkeley County, where I was reporting, fifty dollars a dose at the time, and consumed two-thirds of its annual budget for all emergency medications. Since then, the price of naloxone, its generic name, has risen to nearly a hundred and fifty dollars per dose, not because the formula has improved or become costlier to make—the drug has been around since 1961, and off patent since 1985—but because pharmaceutical manufacturers know a profitable market when they see one. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an average of a hundred and thirty people fatally overdose on prescription or illicit opioids every day in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that four hundred thousand Americans, a war’s worth of dead, died between 1999 and 2017.

    In Berkeley County, though, as in so many places across the country, Narcan accounted for just one column on a staggering spreadsheet. Hospitals have had to care for babies born in withdrawal. Foster-care systems have been strained by an influx of children whose families had been turned upside down by addiction. In many communities, the rates of H.I.V. and hepatitis C have climbed, because, once OxyContin pills were reformulated to make them harder to abuse, in 2010, and changes in prescribing practices made them more difficult to obtain, people addicted to them began injecting heroin and fentanyl instead.

    Under the Master Settlement Agreement, the tobacco companies also committed to pay the states two hundred billion dollars over twenty-five years, and to keep paying them sums tied to cigarette sales in each state in perpetuity. But nothing in the M.S.A. specified how that money was to be spent, and, though one might expect that the bulk of it would be dedicated to the goals of the lawsuits—reducing smoking and promoting public health—that has not generally been the case. In many states, much of the money has gone not to anti-smoking efforts, or even to general spending on health, but instead to closing budget shortfalls, lowering taxes, and funding infrastructure. States treated the agreement like what it felt like: a no-strings-attached gift.

    Je ne suis pas vraiment convainc par la conclusion :

    The Oklahoma settlement with Purdue is a reasonable stab at insuring that the money won in opioid lawsuits doesn’t follow a similar route. Yet some public-health advocates I spoke with said that, in the future, they hope more settlement money will go directly to the treatment of addiction. There’s good evidence, for example, that medication-assisted treatment using buprenorphine, naltrexone, or methadone works well for many people trying to get off opioids, but most states don’t have enough of it.

    Diriger les amendes vers la lutte contre les opioides es tune bonne chose, parce qu’elle évite le pire (que l’amende serve à « baisser les impôts »)... mais cela ne peut pas être un projet dans le cadre des procès. Une fois la responsabilité établie, il faut démanteler ces entreprises et ramener les familles qui les possèdent à un niveau de vie normal, car les Sackler ont largement organisé la promotion d’OxyContin. Or les accords à l’amiable doivent être acceptés par les deux parties, et les construire comme une fin en soi, c’est déjà baisser les bras devant la puissance financière (et donc la qualité/quantité des avocats...). Surtout quand une partie de l’amende sera comme en Oklahoma payée « en nature » par des médicaments produits par Purdue Pharma !!!

    #Opioides #Sackler #Procès

  • Purdue’s Sackler family fights ’inflammatory’ Massachusetts opioid case | Reuters

    La nouvelle bataille juridique des Sackler : expliquer qu’ils étaient juste les crétins utiles de Purdue Pharma votant les budgets.

    BOSTON, April 2 (Reuters) - Members of the Sackler family behind OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP have asked a judge to toss a lawsuit by Massachusetts’ attorney general claiming they helped fuel the U.S. opioid epidemic, arguing it contains “misleading and inflammatory allegations.”

    The wealthy family in a motion on Monday argued that Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who brought the suit, had mischaracterized internal records to create the “false impression” they personally directed privately-held Purdue’s marketing of painkillers.

    Her lawsuit, filed in June in Suffolk County Superior Court and revised earlier this year to include new allegations, was the first by a state to try to hold Sackler family members personally responsible for contributing to the opioid epidemic.

    The case is among roughly 2,000 lawsuits filed by state and local governments seeking to hold Purdue and other pharmaceutical companies responsible for the U.S. opioid crisis.

    Opioids were involved in a record 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017 in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Healey’s complaint cites records to argue that family members, including Purdue’s former President Richard Sackler, personally directed deceptive opioid marketing while making $4.2 billion from Purdue from 2008 to 2016.

    They did so even after Purdue and three executives in 2007 pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the misbranding of OxyContin and agreed to pay a total of $634.5 million in penalties, the lawsuit said.


    But in their motion, the Sacklers said nothing in the complaint supports allegations they personally took part in efforts to mislead doctors and the public about the benefits and addictive risks of opioids.

    They said their role was limited to that of typical corporate board members who participated in “routine” votes to ratify the management’s staffing and budget proposals.

    “Not a single document shows an individual director engaging in any unlawful conduct regarding the sale of prescription opioids or ordering anyone else to do so,” the Sacklers’ lawyers wrote.

    Healey’s office had no comment.

    At least 35 states have cases pending against Purdue. A handful have also named Sackler family members as defendants, including Richard Sackler, Theresa Sackler and Mortimer D.A. Sackler.

    Last week, Purdue reached its first settlement in the recent wave of lawsuits, agreeing with the Sacklers to a $270 million deal with Oklahoma’s attorney general. The Sacklers were not named as defendants in Oklahoma’s lawsuit.

    Purdue had been exploring filing for bankruptcy before the accord’s announcement, Reuters reported in early March. (Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston Editing by Noeleen Walder and Tom Brown)

    #Opioides #Sackler #Cynisme

  • Lawsuits Lay Bare Sackler Family’s Role in Opioid Crisis - The New York Times

    The Sacklers had a new plan.

    It was 2014, and the company the family had controlled for two generations, Purdue Pharma, had been hit with years of investigations and lawsuits over its marketing of the highly addictive opioid painkiller OxyContin, at one point pleading guilty to a federal felony and paying more than $600 million in criminal and civil penalties.

    But as the country’s addiction crisis worsened, the Sacklers spied another business opportunity. They could increase their profits by selling treatments for the very problem their company had helped to create: addiction to opioids.

    The filings cite numerous records, emails and other documents showing that members of the family continued to push aggressively to expand the market for OxyContin and other opioids for years after the company admitted in a 2007 plea deal that it had misrepresented the drug’s addictive qualities and potential for abuse.

    In addition to New York and Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Utah have filed suit against members of the family. Last month, a coalition of more than 500 counties, cities and Native American tribes named the Sacklers in a case in the Southern District of New York, bringing the family into a bundle of 1,600 opioids cases being overseen by a federal court judge in Cleveland.

    In 2009, two years after the federal guilty plea, Mortimer D.A. Sackler, a board member, demanded to know why the company wasn’t selling more opioids, email traffic cited by Massachusetts prosecutors showed.

    In 2011, as states looked for ways to curb opioid prescriptions, family members peppered the sales staff with questions about how to expand the market for the drugs. Mortimer asked if they could sell a generic version of OxyContin in order to “capture more cost sensitive patients,” according to one email. Kathe, his half sister, suggested studying patients who had switched to OxyContin to see if they could find patterns that could help them win new customers, according to court filings in Massachusetts.

    The lawsuits brought by the attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts, Letitia James and Maura Healey, named eight Sackler family members: Kathe, Mortimer, Richard, Jonathan and Ilene Sackler Lefcourt — children of either Mortimer or Raymond Sackler — along with Theresa Sackler, the elder Mortimer’s widow; Beverly Sackler, Raymond’s widow; and David Sackler, a grandson of Raymond.

    Purdue’s business was fundamentally changed after the F.D.A. approved OxyContin in 1995. The company marketed the drug as a long-acting painkiller that was less addictive than shorter-acting rivals like Percocet and Vicodin, a strategy aimed at reducing the stigma attached to opioids among doctors.

    While the Sacklers “have reduced Purdue’s operations and size, Rhodes continues to grow and sell opioids for the benefit of the Sackler families,” the New York suit contends.

    By 2016, Rhodes, though little known to the public, had a greater share of the American prescription opioid market than Purdue, according to a Financial Times analysis. Together, the companies ranked seventh in terms of the market share of opioids.

    Purdue temporarily abandoned plans to pursue Project Tango in 2014, but revived the idea two years later, this time pursuing a plan to sell naloxone, an overdose-reversing drug, according to the Massachusetts filing. A few months later, in December 2016, Richard, Jonathan and Mortimer Sackler discussed buying a company that used implantable drug pumps to treat opioid addiction.

    In recent years, the Sacklers and their companies have been developing products for opioid and overdose treatment on various tracks. Last year, Richard Sackler was awarded a patent for a version of buprenorphine, a drug that blocks opioid receptors, administered by mouth in a thin film. In March, the F.D.A. fast tracked the company’s application for an injectable drug for emergency treatment of overdoses.

    Fait très rare, cet article comporte de nombreuses photos des membres de la famille Sackler

    #Opioides #Sackler #Procès

  • Tate Galleries Will Refuse Sackler Money Because of Opioid Links - The New York Times

    “The Sackler family has given generously to Tate in the past, as they have to a large number of U.K. arts institutions,” a Tate statement said.

    "We do not intend to remove references to this historic philanthropy. However, in the present circumstances we do not think it right to seek or accept further donations from the Sacklers.”

    Si je comprends bien, cela veut dire qu’ils ne retireront pas le nom des Sackler des lieux déjà sponsorisés... futilités.

    Tate’s statement came two days after Britain’s National Portrait Gallery said it would not accept a long-discussed $1.3 million donation from the London-based Sackler Trust, one of the family’s charitable foundations. It said the decision was taken jointly by the gallery and Trust.

    But the Thursday announcement, affecting Tate Modern and Tate Britain in London, as well as Tate Liverpool and Tate St. Ives in Cornwall, could have a bigger impact in the art world. All these galleries are major tourist attractions as well as home to large, high-profile exhibitions.

    In an email, a spokesman for the Mortimer and Raymond Sackler family said, “We deeply sympathise with all the communities, families and individuals affected by the addiction crisis in America. The allegations made against family members in relation to this are strongly denied and will be vigorously defended in court.” He did not comment on Tate’s decision.

    Ne parlons pas du Valium, qui fut la première cause des richesse de la famille Sackler. Surtout pas. Une drogue à la fois, isn’t it ? Quinze ans plus tôt.

    “The Sackler family has been connected with the Met for more than a half century,” Mr. Weiss’s statement said. “The family is a large extended group and their support of The Met began decades before the opioid crisis.”

    #Opioides #Sackler #Philanthropie #Musées

  • Museums Cut Ties With Sacklers as Outrage Over Opioid Crisis Grows - The New York Times

    In Paris, at the Louvre, lovers of Persian art knew there was only one place to go: the Sackler Wing of Oriental Antiquities. Want to find the long line for the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art? Head for the soaring, glass-walled Sackler Wing.

    For decades, the Sackler family has generously supported museums worldwide, not to mention numerous medical and educational institutions including Columbia University, where there is a Sackler Institute, and Oxford, where there is a Sackler Library.

    But now some favorite Sackler charities are reconsidering whether they want the money at all, and several have already rejected any future gifts, concluding that some family members’ ties to the opioid crisis outweighed the benefits of their six- and sometimes seven-figure checks.

    In a remarkable rebuke to one of the world’s most prominent philanthropic dynasties, the prestigious Tate museums in London and the Solomon R. Guggenheim in New York, where a Sackler sat on the board for many years, decided in the last week that they would no longer accept gifts from their longtime Sackler benefactors. Britain’s National Portrait Gallery announced it had jointly decided with the Sackler Trust to cancel a planned $1.3 million donation, and an article in The Art Newspaper disclosed that a museum in South London had returned a family donation last year.

    On Monday, as the embarrassment grew with every new announcement, a Sackler trust and a family foundation in Britain issued statements saying they would suspend further philanthropy for the moment.

    “The current press attention that these legal cases in the United States is generating has created immense pressure on the scientific, medical, educational and arts institutions here in the U.K., large and small, that I am so proud to support,” Theresa Sackler, the chair of the Sackler Trust, said in a statement. “This attention is distracting them from the important work that they do.”

    The Guggenheim’s move was perhaps the most surprising, and not just because it was the first American institution known to cut ties with its Sackler supporters.

    Mortimer D.A. Sackler, a son of Mortimer Sackler, sat on the Guggenheim’s board for nearly 20 years and the family gave the museum $9 million between 1995 and 2015, including $7 million to establish and support the Sackler Center for Arts Education.

    The Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum had been the scene of protests related to the Sacklers. One last month, led by the photographer Nan Goldin, who overcame an OxyContin addiction, involved dropping thousands of slips of white paper from the iconic gallery spiral into its rotunda, a reference to a court document that quoted Richard Sackler, who ran Purdue Pharma, heralding a “blizzard of prescriptions that will bury the competition.”

    Last Thursday, the Guggenheim, like other American museums, stated simply that “no contributions from the Sackler family have been received since 2015 and no additional gifts are planned.”

    But a day later, amid more articles about British museums rejecting Sackler money, the Guggenheim amended its statement: “The Guggenheim does not plan to accept any gifts.”

    #Opioides #Sackler #Philanthropie #Musées

  • Sackler family money is now unwelcome at three major museums. Will others follow? - The Washington Post

    By Philip Kennicott
    Art and architecture critic
    March 23

    When the National Portrait Gallery in London announced Tuesday that it was forgoing a grant from the Sackler family, observers could be forgiven for a certain degree of skepticism about the decision’s impact on the art world. The Sacklers, owners of the pharmaceutical behemoth Purdue Pharma, which makes OxyContin, had promised $1.3 million to support a public-engagement project. The money, no doubt, was welcome, but the amount involved was a relative pittance.

    Now another British institution and a major U.S. museum, the Guggenheim, have said no to Sackler money, which has become synonymous with a deadly and addictive drug that boosted the family fortune by billions of dollars and caused immeasurable suffering. The Tate art galleries, which include the Tate Modern and the Tate Britain in London as well as outposts in Liverpool and Cornwall, announced Thursday that it will also not accept money from the family.

    The Sacklers are mired in legal action, investigations and looming congressional inquiries about their role in marketing a drug blamed for a significant early role in an epidemic of overdose deaths that has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans since 1997.

    Is this a trend? These moves may affect immediate plans but won’t put much of a dent in the museums’ budgets. The impact on the Sackler family’s reputation, however, will force American arts institutions to pay attention.

    The Sackler family, which includes branches with differing levels of culpability and involvement with the issue, has a long history of donating to cultural organizations. Arthur M. Sackler, who gave millions of dollars’ worth of art and $4 million for the opening of the Smithsonian’s Sackler Gallery in 1987, died long before the OxyContin scandal began. Members of the family involved with OxyContin vigorously contest the claims that Perdue Pharma was unscrupulous in the promotion of a drug, though company executives pleaded guilty to violations involving OxyContin in 2007 and the company paid more than $600 million in fines.

    A million here or there is one thing. Having a whole building named for a family with blood on its hands is another, and seeking yet more money for new projects will become even more problematic. And every institution that bears the Sackler family name, including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (which has a Sackler wing) and the University Art Museum at Princeton (which has a Sackler gallery) is now faced with the distasteful proposition of forever advertising the wealth of a family that is deeply implicated in suffering, death and social anomie.

    Will any major U.S. institution that has benefited from Sackler largesse remove the family’s name?

    The National Portrait Gallery in London. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images)
    The usual arguments against this are stretched to the breaking point. Like arguments about Koch family money, which has benefited cultural institutions but is, to many, inextricably linked to global warming and the impending collapse of the Anthropocene, the issues at stake seem, at first, to be consistency and pragmatism. The pragmatic argument is this: Cultural organizations need the money, and if they don’t take it, that money will go somewhere else. And this leads quickly to the argument from consistency. Almost all of our major cultural organizations were built up with money derived from family fortunes that are tainted — by the exploitation of workers, slavery and the lasting impacts of slavery, the depredations of colonialism and the destruction of the environment. So why should contemporary arts and cultural groups be required to set themselves a higher, or more puritanical, standard when it comes to corrupt money? And if consistency matters, should we now be parsing the morality of every dollar that built every opera house and museum a century ago?

    Both arguments are cynical. Arts organizations that engage in moral money laundering cannot make a straight-faced claim to a higher moral purpose when they seek other kinds of funding, including donations and membership dollars from the general public and support from government and foundations. But the consistency argument — that the whole system is historically wrapped up in hypocrisy about money — needs particular reconsideration in the age of rapid information flows, which create sudden, digital moral crises and epiphanies.

    [The Sacklers have donated millions to museums. But their connection to the opioid crisis is threatening that legacy.]

    Moral (or social) hazard is a funny thing. For as long as cultural institutions are in the money-laundering business, companies such as Perdue Pharma will have an incentive to take greater risks. If the taint of public health disaster can be washed away, then other companies may choose to put profits over public safety. But this kind of hazard isn’t a finely calibrated tool. It involves a lot of chance and inconsistency in how it works. That has only increased in the age of viral Twitter campaigns and rapid conflagrations of public anger fueled by new social media tools.

    Why is it that the Sackler family is in the crosshairs and not any of the other myriad wealthy people whose money was made through products that are killing us? Because it is. And that seeming randomness is built into the way we now police our billionaires. It seems haphazard, and sometimes unfair, and inefficient. Are there worse malefactors scrubbing their toxic reputations with a new hospital wing or kids literacy program? Surely. Maybe they will find their money unwelcome at some point in the future, and maybe not. The thing that matters is that the risk is there.

    [Now would be a good time for museums to think about our gun plague]

    The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of Art in Washington. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)
    Much of the Sackler family money was made off a drug that deadens the mind and reduces the human capacity for thought and feeling. There is a nice alignment between that fact and what may now, finally, be the beginnings of a new distaste about using Sackler money to promote art and cultural endeavors, which must always increase our capacities for engagement with the world. It is immensely satisfying that the artist Nan Goldin, whose work has explored the misery of drug culture, is playing a leading role in the emerging resistance to Sackler family money. (Goldin, who was considering a retrospective of her work at the National Portrait Gallery, said to the Observer: “I have told them I would not do it if they take the Sackler money.”)

    More artists should take a lead role in these conversations, to the point of usurping the usual prerogatives of boards and executive committees and ethical advisory groups to make decisions about corrupt money.

    [‘Shame on Sackler’: Anti-opioid activists call out late Smithsonian donor at his namesake museum]

    Ultimately, it is unlikely that any arts organization will manage to find a consistent policy or somehow finesse the challenge of saying all that money we accepted from gilded-age plutocrats a century ago is now clean. But we may think twice about taking money from people who are killing our planet and our people today. What matters is that sometimes lightning strikes, and there is hell to pay, and suddenly a name is blackened forever. That kind of justice may be terrifying and swift and inconsistent, but it sends a blunt message: When the world finally learns that what you have done is loathsome, it may not be possible to undo the damage through the miraculous scrubbing power of cultural detergent.

    #Opioides #Sackler #Musées #Shame

  • Exclusive: OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma Exploring Bankruptcy - Sources | Investing News | US News

    By Mike Spector, Jessica DiNapoli and Nate Raymond

    (Reuters) - OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP is exploring filing for bankruptcy to address potentially significant liabilities from roughly 2,000 lawsuits alleging the drugmaker contributed to the deadly opioid crisis sweeping the United States, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

    The potential move shows how Purdue and its wealthy owners, the Sackler family, are under pressure to respond to mounting litigation accusing the company of misleading doctors and patients about risks associated with prolonged use of its prescription opioids.

    Purdue denies the allegations, arguing that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved labels for its opioids carried warnings about the risk of abuse and misuse associated with the pain treatments.

    Filing for Chapter 11 protection would halt the lawsuits and allow Purdue to negotiate legal claims with plaintiffs under the supervision of a U.S. bankruptcy judge, the sources said.

    Shares of Endo International Plc and Insys Therapeutics Inc, two companies that like Purdue have been named in lawsuits related to the U.S. opioid epidemic, closed down 17 percent and more than 2 percent, respectively, on Monday.

    More than 1,600 lawsuits accusing Purdue and other opioid manufacturers of using deceptive practices to push addictive drugs that led to fatal overdoses are consolidated in an Ohio federal court. Purdue has held discussions to resolve the litigation with plaintiffs’ lawyers, who have often compared the cases to widespread lawsuits against the tobacco industry that resulted in a $246 billion settlement in 1998.

    “We will oppose any attempt to avoid our claims, and will continue to vigorously and aggressively pursue our claims against Purdue and the Sackler family,” Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said. Connecticut has a case against Purdue and the Sacklers.


    A Purdue bankruptcy filing is not certain, the sources said. The Stamford, Connecticut-based company has not made any final decisions and could instead continue fighting the lawsuits, they said.

    “As a privately-held company, it has been Purdue Pharma’s longstanding policy not to comment on our financial or legal strategy,” Purdue said in a statement.

    “We are, however, committed to ensuring that our business remains strong and sustainable. We have ample liquidity and remain committed to meeting our obligations to the patients who benefit from our medicines, our suppliers and other business partners.”

    Purdue faces a May trial in a case brought by Oklahoma’s attorney general that, like others, accuses the company of contributing to a wave of fatal overdoses by flooding the market with highly addictive opioids while falsely claiming the drugs were safe.

    Last year, U.S. President Donald Trump also said he would like to sue drug companies over the nation’s opioid crisis.

    Opioids, including prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl, were involved in 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017, a sixfold increase from 1999, according to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Purdue hired law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP for restructuring advice, Reuters reported in August, fueling concerns among litigants, including Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter, that the company might seek bankruptcy protection before the trial.

    Companies facing widespread lawsuits sometimes seek bankruptcy protection to address liabilities in one court even when their financial condition is not dire. California utility PG&E Corp filed for bankruptcy earlier this year after deadly wildfires raised the prospect of large legal bills even though its stock remained worth billions of dollars.


    Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey in June became the first attorney general to sue not just Purdue but Sackler family members. Records in her case, which Purdue has asked a judge to dismiss, accused Sackler family members of directing deceptive marketing of opioids for years while enriching themselves to the tune of $4.2 billion.

    Some other states have since also sued the Sacklers. The Sacklers are currently discussing creating a nonprofit backed by family financial contributions to combat addiction and drug abuse, a person familiar with their deliberations said.

    The drugmaker downplayed the possibility of a bankruptcy filing in a Feb. 22 court filing in the Oklahoma case. “Purdue is still here - ready, willing and eager to prove in this Court that the State’s claims are baseless,” the company said in court papers.

    Sales of OxyContin and other opioids have fallen amid public concern about their addictive nature, and as restrictions on opioid prescribing have been enacted. OxyContin generated $1.74 billion in sales in 2017, down from $2.6 billion five years earlier, according to the most recent data compiled by Symphony Health Solutions.

    Purdue Chief Executive Officer Craig Landau has cut hundreds of jobs, stopped marketing opioids to physicians and moved the company toward developing medications for sleep disorders and cancer since taking the helm in 2017.

    In July, Purdue appointed a new board chairman, Steve Miller, a restructuring veteran who previously held leadership positions at troubled companies including auto-parts giant Delphi and the once-teetering insurer American International Group Inc.

    Mortimer D.A. Sackler no longer sits on Purdue’s board, according to a filing the company made with the Connecticut secretary of state late Monday.

    The Oklahoma case and other lawsuits seek damages from Purdue and other pharmaceutical companies accused of fueling the opioid crisis. In addition to lawsuits consolidated in an Ohio federal court, more than 300 cases are pending in state courts, and dozens of state attorneys general have sued manufacturers, including Purdue.

    Settlement discussions have not yet resulted in a deal.

    Purdue and three executives in 2007 pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the misbranding of OxyContin and agreed to pay a total of $634.5 million in penalties, according to court records.

    (Reporting by Mike Spector and Jessica DiNapoli in New York and Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

    Copyright 2019 Thomson Reuters.

    #Opioides #Sackler #Bankruptcy

  • L’addiction, une garantie pour les profits | Entre les lignes entre les mots

    par Didier Epsztajn

    Patrick Radden Keefe débute son texte par le Metropolitan Museum, l’« aile Sackler » du nom d’une « des plus grandes dynasties de philanthropes américains ». Il interroge l’origine de cette richesse, « aussi obscure que celle des barons voleurs », l’entreprise familiale Purdue Pharma.

    Une entreprise privée, un antalgique, OxyContin, un opioïde et ses propriétés addictives, des campagnes marketing, le financement de médecins pour construire des « arguments »… « Depuis 1999, 300 000 à 500 000 Américains selon les évaluations, sont morts d’overdose liées à OxyContin ou d’autres opioïdes délivrés sur ordonnance ».

    L’auteur analyse la place du commerce – et non de la pratique médicale – ayant fait la fortune des frères Sackler, les campagnes de séduction des médecins, la multiplication des ordonnances de tranquillisants, les vertus thérapeutique du pavot à opium et les risques addictifs, la commercialisation de « jumbo pills », les choix liés aux « impératifs » de rentabilité, les informations – véritables publicités – fournies aux médecins, « l’entreprise persuadait les médecins que le médicament était sans danger en s’appuyant sur des documents produits par des médecins payés ou fiancés par l’entreprise », la diffusion des comprimés sur le marché noir, le refus de reconnaître le caractère addictif du médicament, le rejet de la responsabilité sur les seul·es individu·es (une ritournelle du néolibéralisme), la sur-prescription et les énormes profits, les arrangements pour éviter les procès, le blocage de la concurrence des médicaments génériques, le lobbyisme…

    Une mise en cause tant de la marchandisation de la santé, des mensonges et de la propagande des laboratoires pharmaceutiques, des addictions propagées par le capitalisme, des systèmes privatisés de soins et de la place des fondations – du cynisme de la philanthropie – sans oublier leur rôle dans l’évitement fiscal…

    Une nouvelle collection interventions (« il s’agit de dévoiler les détournements, les enclosures et les accaparements ou d’évoquer des solutions ouvertes, originales et coopératives ») à suivre.

    #Addiction_ordonnance #C&F_éditions #Sackler #Opioides #Patrick_Radden_Keefe

  • Mortimer Sackler

    Question, ce rosier a-t-il été soutenu par le « philanthrope » Mortimer Sackler au titre de son amour des arts ?

    Mortimer Sackler

    Rosier Anglais - obtention David Austin

    Rosier Grimpant
    A healthy climber with rather unusual, delicately beautiful blooms
    Ce rosier élégant porte de grandes grappes de fleurs doubles et un peu lâches, d’un rose doux. Il exhale un parfum exquis de Rose Ancienne aux délicieuses notes fruitées. Particulièrement sain, à la floraison bien remontante.

    Bonne résistance aux maladies
    Floraison Remontante
    Parfum très puissant

    Prix du Mérite de la Royal Horticultural Society
    Obtention David Austin


  • ENVOYE SPECIAL. « Ce sont des dealers de drogue légaux ! » : une victime d’un antidouleur à base d’opium raconte sa descente aux enfers

    Lauren Cambra, qui souffrait d’une sciatique, a été choisie à la fin des années 1990 par un laboratoire pharmaceutique pour incarner les vertus de l’OxyContin, un antidouleur à base d’opium. Sur une vidéo publicitaire où elle a accepté de figurer, à la demande de son médecin, on la voit, radieuse, nager avec ses petits-enfants dans sa piscine. Le Dr Spanos apparaît lui aussi dans le film, pour « réfuter la légende selon laquelle les opioïdes conduisent, à terme, à l’addiction et la passivité. »
    Encouragé par les médecins

    Ce film était diffusé dans la salle d’attente de nombreux médecins. Il a été financé intégralement par Purdue Pharma, le laboratoire qui produit l’OxyContin (il a été condamné en 2007 à 634 millions de dollars d’amende pour avoir « désinformé » les médecins). Après une campagne de communication massive, ces pilules ont inondé le marché américain. Présenté comme un médicament miracle, l’OxyContin est, avec d’autres opioïdes, à l’origine d’une des plus graves crises sanitaires qu’aient connues les Etats-Unis. Ce type de médicaments continue à tuer : 72 000 personnes sont mortes d’overdose en 2017.
    Des vidéos financées par le laboratoire

    « Ils se sont fait des dizaines de millions de dollars grâce à ces vidéos. Ils ont fait ça pour l’argent, par pure avidité ! dénonce Lauren aujourd’hui. Ce sont des dealers de drogue ! Des dealers légaux, mais des dealers. Si demain vous allez chez le médecin et qu’il vous prescrit de l’OxyContin, écoutez-moi : partez en courant ! »

    Vingt ans plus tard, Lauren Cambra est la seule patiente apparaissant dans cette vidéo promotionnelle qui ait survécu et accepté d’en parler. Elle avait toujours refusé de se confier à des journalistes. L’histoire qu’elle raconte à « Envoyé spécial » est faite de douleur et de honte.

    Au début, l’OxyContin soulage les douleurs dues à sa sciatique de manière miraculeuse. Mais très vite, les effets s’estompent, et il faut augmenter la dose. Cela provoque une somnolence, des absences. Lauren perd son emploi, son assurance, et ne peut plus se payer les pilules.
    « J’étais pratiquement SDF »

    « Et là, confie-t-elle, ç’a été le début de… oh, mon Dieu ! C’est là que j’ai compris à quel point cette pilule était addictive. Parce que j’ai arrêté de la prendre. Et là… Oh là là… j’ai tenu douze heures, quatorze heures, seize heures… et j’étais à l’agonie. Mon corps n’en pouvait plus. Je hurlais sur tout le monde, c’était horrible. Je n’ai même pas tenu une journée. »

    Commence alors pour Lauren une véritable descente aux enfers. « J’ai pris l’argent prévu pour mon crédit voiture, et je suis allée m’acheter mes pilules. Ça, c’était le premier mois. Ensuite, j’ai pris l’argent prévu pour la voiture, pour le crédit de la maison, la nourriture… pour mes pilules. Et au final, j’ai tout perdu : ma voiture, ma maison… J’étais pratiquement SDF. »

    Extrait de « Antidouleurs : l’Amérique dévastée », un reportage à voir dans « Envoyé spécial » le 21 février 2019.

    #Opioides #Sackler #Reportage

  • « Antidouleurs : l’Amérique dévastée » : un scandale sanitaire hors du commun

    C’est une enquête menée à travers les Etats-Unis et qui fait froid dans le dos. Elle concerne des dizaines de milliers d’hommes, de femmes et d’enfants. Il y est question de douleurs physiques intolérables, de pilules prétendument magiques, d’accoutumance mortelle, de décès en masse et d’un scandale sanitaire hors du commun.

    Des victimes issues de tous les milieux sociaux, n’ayant pas le profil habituel des toxicomanes mais qui, pour faire passer des douleurs diverses (arthrose, sciatique, douleurs abdominales…), se sont accoutumées à des médicaments antidouleur qui se sont révélés particulièrement dangereux.
    Lire l’enquête : Les Etats-Unis tentent de réagir face à la crise des opioïdes

    L’addiction aux opioïdes a causé la mort de près de 300 000 personnes en vingt ans aux Etats-Unis, dont 72 000 pour la seule année 2017.

    Dans ce documentaire diffusé dans le cadre de l’émission « Envoyé spécial », plusieurs extraits font frémir : on y voit une mère de famille s’écroulant subitement au supermarché sous les yeux de son enfant. Ou un quadragénaire plongeant dans le coma au volant de son véhicule. Sans parler de la petite Emma, née quinze jours plus tôt dans une clinique du Tennessee et qui, sans ses huit doses de morphine par jour, succomberait de douleur. Le bébé souffre du syndrome d’abstinence néonatal, il est chimiquement accro aux antidouleur. La raison ? Sa mère prenait en masse des antalgiques dérivés de l’opium et a contaminé sa fille. D’autres images montrent des policiers munis d’un spray nasal spécial (Narcan) – antidote efficace aux opioïdes – sauvant des vies in extremis.
    L’OxyContin dans le viseur

    En première ligne sur la liste noire : l’OxyContin, médicament antidouleur à base d’opium – deux fois plus puissant que la morphine – fabriqué par l’influent laboratoire Purdue. Lancé en 1996 à grand renfort de publicité, l’OxyContin a rapidement envahi les pharmacies des particuliers. A l’époque, des médecins payés par Purdue assuraient, face caméra, que les opioïdes étaient non seulement très efficaces, mais surtout sans danger. Le succès commercial est gigantesque.
    Lire l’enquête : L’inquiétant succès de l’OxyContin, puissant antalgique opiacé

    Vingt ans plus tard, la plupart des anciens patients modèles choisis par Purdue pour incarner les vertus du médicament sont morts. Les auteurs du documentaire ont retrouvé, en Caroline du Nord, une survivante. En 1996, une sciatique la faisait souffrir. A force d’ingurgiter des doses de plus en plus importantes d’OxyContin, les douleurs s’estompent. Pour un temps, puisqu’il faut toujours augmenter les doses. Le cercle vicieux est sans fin.

    En 2007, trois cadres de Purdue plaident coupable devant la justice, qui inflige une amende de 600 millions de dollars au laboratoire

    Depuis plus de quinze ans, Purdue est dans le viseur des autorités. En décembre 2001, des sénateurs, inquiets des pratiques du laboratoire, avaient auditionné un responsable de l’entreprise. En 2007, trois cadres de Purdue ont plaidé coupable devant la justice, qui a infligé une amende de 600 millions de dollars au laboratoire. La fin du cauchemar ? Pas du tout. Le lobby pharmaceutique américain continue sa campagne en faveur des opioïdes.

    Face caméra, une ancienne visiteuse médicale de Purdue, recrutée en 2008, raconte l’efficacité de ses visites aux médecins de famille. « Vos patients ont des douleurs ? J’ai le médicament qu’il vous faut pour les soulager… » Ses primes, conséquentes, augmentaient selon les dosages prescrits par les médecins. Avec la multiplication des morts par overdose, la très discrète et richissime famille Sackler, propriétaire de Purdue, risque cette fois de sérieux ennuis. Une centaine de villes et près de trois cents avocats ont engagé des centaines de procédures contre ses méthodes.

    « Antidouleurs : l’Amérique dévastée », de Pierre Monégier, Brice Baubit et Emmanuel Lejeune (France, 2019, 55 min). Francetvinfo.fr/france-2/envoye-special

    #Opioides #Sackler #OxyContin #Reportage

  • «ENVOYE SPECIAL». Etats-Unis : les médicaments antidouleur tuent plus que les armes à feu

    Des Américains ordinaires qui s’écroulent en pleine rue, au supermarché, au volant de leur voiture… victimes d’overdose. Intoxiqués aux #opioïdes par des médicaments antidouleur prescrits et vendus en toute légalité. « Envoyé spécial » diffuse le 21 février un document exceptionnel sur ce qui est devenu une véritable épidémie aux Etats-Unis.

  • Gifts Tied to Opioid Sales Invite a Question : Should Museums Vet Donors ? - The New York Times

    The New York Times surveyed 21 cultural organizations listed on tax forms as having received significant sums from foundations run by two Sackler brothers who led Purdue. Several, including the Guggenheim, declined to comment; others, like the Brooklyn Museum, ignored questions. None indicated that they would return donations or refuse them in the future.

    “We regularly assess our funding activities to ensure best practice,” wrote Zoë Franklin, a spokeswoman for the Victoria and Albert Museum, which was listed as receiving about $13.1 million from the Dr. Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation in 2012. “The Sackler family continue to be an important and valuable donor to the V & A and we are grateful for their ongoing support.”

    De l’usage de la philanthropie comme écran de fumée

    Robert Josephson, a spokesman for the company, pointed to its efforts to stem the opioid epidemic — distributing prescription guidelines, developing abuse-deterrent painkillers and ensuring access to overdose-reversal medication — and noted that OxyContin has never had a large share of total opioid prescriptions. In an email, he added, “Many leading medical, scientific, cultural and educational institutions throughout the world have been beneficiaries of Sackler family philanthropy.”

    #Sackler #Philanthropie #Opioides #Musées

  • Parution : Addiction sur ordonnance, La crise des antidouleurs, par Patrick Radden Keefe

    J’ai le plaisir de vous annoncer la parution de :

    Addiction sur ordonnance
    La crise des antidouleurs
    par Patrick Radden Keefe

    traduit de l’anglais (États-Unis) par Claire Richard
    avec des contributions de :
    Frédéric Autran, Cécile Brajeul et Hervé Le Crosnier

    C&F éditions, 2019
    16 €
    ISBN 978-2-915825-90-9

    Ce premier livre de la collection interventions traite d’un sujet douloureux, la « crise des opioïdes » qui ronge les États-Unis de l’intérieur et qui s’étend dans le monde entier. 400000 décès par overdose dans la dernière décennie aux USA, dont 70000 l’an passé... pour une addiction qui a souvent débuté dans le cabinet d’un médecin ou un service d’hôpital ayant prescrit des antidouleurs sans prendre les précautions nécessaires pour éviter la dépendance aux opiacés.

    Patrick Radden Keefe est remonté à la source en étudiant les stratégies marketing de la famille Sackler, et de sa petite entreprise de pharmacie du Connecticut, devenue une des plus riches du pays... au prix d’une crise de santé publique majeure.

    L’article de Frédéric Autran montre la vie quotidienne des personnes dépendantes aux opiacés, et plus particulièrement aux opioïdes de synthèse vendus comme des médicaments.

    Celui de Cécile Brajeul expose plus spécifiquement la situation en France.

    Dans sa postface, Hervé Le Crosnier considère les trusts pharmaceutiques comme des acteurs de la « société de l’information », pour lesquels l’appât du gain et les mensonges marketing sont le moteur prioritaire. Il appelle à reconsidérer la dépendance des organismes publics (musées, universités...) aux financements privés et notamment au cynisme de la philanthropie.

    On peut obtenir un extrait spécimen à :

    Bonne lecture

    #Addiction #Opioides #C&F_éditions #Sackler #Oxycontin

  • OxyContin Maker Explored Expansion Into “Attractive”… — ProPublica

    Secret portions of a lawsuit allege that Purdue Pharma, controlled by the Sackler family, considered capitalizing on the addiction treatment boom — while going to extreme lengths to boost sales of its controversial opioid.

    In internal correspondence beginning in 2014, Purdue Pharma executives discussed how the sale of opioids and the treatment of opioid addiction are “naturally linked” and that the company should expand across “the pain and addiction spectrum,” according to redacted sections of the lawsuit by the Massachusetts attorney general. A member of the billionaire Sackler family, which founded and controls the privately held company, joined in those discussions and urged staff in an email to give “immediate attention” to this business opportunity, the complaint alleges.

    The sections of the complaint already made public contend that the Sacklers pushed for higher doses of OxyContin, guided efforts to mislead doctors and the public about the drug’s addictive capacity, and blamed misuse on patients.

    Citing extensive emails and internal company documents, the redacted sections allege that Purdue and the Sackler family went to extreme lengths to boost OxyContin sales and burnish the drug’s reputation in the face of increased regulation and growing public awareness of its addictive nature. Concerns about doctors improperly prescribing the drug, and patients becoming addicted, were swept aside in an aggressive effort to drive OxyContin sales ever higher, the complaint alleges.

    Among the allegations: Purdue paid two executives convicted of fraudulently marketing OxyContin millions of dollars to assure their loyalty, concealed information about doctors suspected of inappropriately prescribing the opioid, and was advised by global consulting firm McKinsey & Co. on strategies to boost the drug’s sales and burnish its image, including how to “counter the emotional messages” of mothers whose children overdosed. Since 2007, the Sackler family has received more than $4 billion in payouts from Purdue, according to a redacted paragraph in the complaint.

    The redacted paragraphs leave little doubt about the dominant role of the Sackler family in Purdue’s management. The five Purdue directors who are not Sacklers always voted with the family, according to the complaint. The family-controlled board approves everything from the number of sales staff to be hired to details of their bonus incentives, which have been tied to sales volume, the complaint says. In May 2017, when longtime employee Craig Landau was seeking to become Purdue’s chief executive, he wrote that the board acted as “de-facto CEO.” He was named CEO a few weeks later.

    After its 1996 launch, OxyContin rapidly became a top seller. But reports of patients abusing the drug soon followed. OxyContin contained more pain relief medication than older drugs, and crushing and snorting it was a simple way to get high fast. In 2007, Purdue pleaded guilty to federal charges of understating the risk of addiction and agreed to pay $600 million in fines and penalties. Still, the company argued publicly that OxyContin has “done far more good than harm,” and it sought to place responsibility for the bad acts on “certain of its supervisors and employees.”

    Privately, the complaint suggests, the Sacklers were concerned about alienating two executives, then-CEO Michael Friedman and then-legal counsel Howard Udell. Friedman and Udell each pleaded guilty in 2007 in U.S. District Court in Abingdon, Virginia, to a misdemeanor charge of misbranding OxyContin, as did a former executive. The board signed off on the three executives’ decisions to plead guilty. No member of the Sackler family pleaded guilty.

    Purdue paid $5 million to Udell in November 2008, and up to $1 million in November 2009, the complaint states. In February 2008, the company paid $3 million to Friedman. The complaint doesn’t mention any payments to the former executive.

    “The Sacklers spent millions to keep the loyalty of people who knew the truth,” the complaint alleges.

    Udell died in 2013. A person answering a phone number listed to Friedman declined comment.

    When sales results disappointed, Sackler family members didn’t hesitate to intervene. In late 2010, Purdue told the family that sales of the highest dose and most profitable opioids were lower than expected, according to the complaint. That meant an expected quarter-end payout to the family of $320 million was at risk of being reduced to $260 million and would have to be made in two installments in December instead of one in November.

    That news prompted a sharp email question from Mortimer D.A. Sackler, whose late father, also named Mortimer, was a Purdue co-founder. “Why are you BOTH reducing the amount of the distribution and delaying it and splitting it in two?” he asked. “Just a few weeks ago you agreed to distribute the full 320 [million dollars] in November.” The complaint doesn’t say how much was ultimately paid.

    In September 2014, Purdue embarked on a secret project to join an industry that was booming thanks in part to OxyContin abuse: addiction treatment medication. Code-named Project Tango, it involved Purdue executives and staff as well as Dr. Kathe Sackler, a daughter of the company co-founder Mortimer Sackler and a defendant in the Massachusetts lawsuit. She participated in phone calls and told staff that the project required their “immediate attention,” according to the complaint.

    Internally, Purdue touted the growth of an industry that its aggressive marketing had done so much to foster.

    “It is an attractive market,” the team working on the project wrote in a presentation. “Large unmet need for vulnerable, underserved and stigmatized patient population suffering from substance abuse, dependence and addiction.”

    While OxyContin sales were declining, the internal team at Purdue touted the fact that the addiction treatment marketplace was expanding.

    “Opioid addiction (other than heroin) has grown by ~20%” annually from 2000 to 2010, the company noted. Although Richard Sackler had blamed OxyContin abuse in an email on “reckless criminals,” the Purdue staff exploring the new business opportunity described in far more sympathetic terms the patients whom it now planned to treat.

    “This can happen to any-one – from a 50 year old woman with chronic lower back pain to a 18 year old boy with a sports injury, from the very wealthy to the very poor,” it said.

    Company documents recommended becoming an “end-to-end pain provider.” Initially, Purdue intended to sell one such medication, Suboxone, which is commonly retailed as a film that melts in the mouth. When Kathe Sackler asked staff members to look into reports that children might be swallowing the film, they reassured her. They responded, according to the complaint, that youngsters were overdosing on pills, but not the films, “which is a positive for Tango.”

    In 2015, Purdue turned its attention to another potential product, the overdose reversing agent known as Narcan, calling it a “strategic fit.” Purdue executives discussed how its sales force could promote Narcan to the same doctors who prescribed the most opioids. Purdue said in the statement Wednesday that it decided against acquiring the rights to sell Suboxone and Narcan.

    While those initiatives appear to have stalled or ended, Richard Sackler received a patent last year for a drug to treat addiction, according to the complaint. The patent application states that opioids are addictive and refers to people who suffer from substance use disorders as “junkies.”

    #Opioides #Sackler

  • The Arthur Sackler Family’s Ties to OxyContin Money - The Atlantic

    Much as the role of the addictive multibillion-dollar painkiller OxyContin in the opioid crisis has stirred controversy and rancor nationwide, so it has divided members of the wealthy and philanthropic Sackler family, some of whom own the company that makes the drug.

    In recent months, as protesters have begun pressuring the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and other cultural institutions to spurn donations from the Sacklers, one branch of the family has moved aggressively to distance itself from OxyContin and its manufacturer, Purdue Pharma. The widow and one daughter of Arthur Sackler, who owned a related Purdue company with his two brothers, maintain that none of his heirs have profited from sales of the drug. The daughter, Elizabeth Sackler, told The New York Times in January that Purdue Pharma’s involvement in the opioid epidemic was “morally abhorrent to me.”

    But an obscure court document sheds a different light on family history—and on the campaign by Arthur’s relatives to preserve their image and legacy. It shows that the Purdue family of companies made a nearly $20 million payment to the estate of Arthur Sackler in 1997—two year after OxyContin was approved, and just as the pill was becoming a big seller. As a result, though they do not profit from present-day sales, Arthur’s heirs appear to have benefited at least indirectly from OxyContin.

    The 1997 payment to the estate of Arthur Sackler is disclosed in the combined, audited financial statements of Purdue and its associated companies and subsidiaries. Those documents were filed among hundreds of pages of exhibits in the U.S. District Court in Abingdon, Virginia, as part of a 2007 settlement in which a company associated with Purdue and three company executives pleaded guilty to charges that OxyContin was illegally marketed. The company paid $600 million in penalties while admitting it falsely promoted OxyContin as less addictive and less likely to be abused than other pain medications.

    Arthur’s heirs include his widow and grandchildren. His children, including Elizabeth, do not inherit because they are not beneficiaries of a trust that was set up as part of a settlement of his estate, according to court records. Jillian receives an income from the trust. Elizabeth’s two children are heirs and would receive bequests upon Jillian’s death. A spokesman for Elizabeth Sackler declined to comment on the Purdue payment.

    Long before OxyContin was introduced, the Sackler brothers already were notable philanthropists. Arthur was one of the world’s biggest art collectors and a generous benefactor to cultural and educational institutions across the world. There is the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution, the Arthur M. Sackler Museum at Harvard, and the Jillian and Arthur M. Sackler Wing of Galleries at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

    His brothers were similarly generous. They joined with their older brother to fund the Sackler Wing at the Met, which features the Temple of Dendur exhibit. The Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation was the principal donor of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London; the Sackler name is affiliated with prestigious colleges from Yale to the University of Oxford, as well as world-famous cultural organizations, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. There is even a Sackler Rose—so christened after Mortimer Sackler’s wife purchased the naming rights in her husband’s honor.

    Now the goodwill gained from this philanthropy may be waning as the Sackler family has found itself in an uncomfortable spotlight over the past six months. Two national magazines recently examined the intersection of the family’s wealth from OxyContin and its philanthropy, as have other media outlets across the world. The family has also been targeted in a campaign by the photographer Nan Goldin to “hold the Sacklers accountable” for OxyContin’s role in the opioid crisis. Goldin, who says she became addicted to OxyContin after it was prescribed for surgical pain, led a protest last month at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in which demonstrators tossed pill bottles labeled as OxyContin into the reflecting pool of its Sackler Wing.

    While it doesn’t appear that any recipients of Sackler charitable contributions have returned gifts or pledged to reject future ones, pressure and scrutiny on many of those institutions is intensifying. In London, the National Portrait Gallery said it is reviewing a current pledge from the Sackler Trust.

    #Opioides #Sackler

  • Origins of an Epidemic: Purdue Pharma Knew Its Opioids Were Widely Abused - The New York Times

    Prosecutors found that the company’s sales representatives used the words “street value,” “crush,” or “snort” in 117 internal notes recording their visits to doctors or other medical professionals from 1997 through 1999.

    The 120-page report also cited emails showing that Purdue Pharma’s owners, members of the wealthy Sackler family, were sent reports about abuse of OxyContin and another company opioid, MS Contin.
    “We have in fact picked up references to abuse of our opioid products on the internet,” Purdue Pharma’s general counsel, Howard R. Udell, wrote in early 1999 to another company official. That same year, prosecutors said, company officials learned of a call to a pharmacy describing “OxyContin as the hottest thing on the street — forget Vicodin.”

    A spokesman for Purdue Pharma, Robert Josephson, declined to comment on the allegations in the report but said the company was involved in efforts to address opioid abuse.

    Suggesting that activities that last occurred more than 16 years ago are responsible for today’s complex and multifaceted opioid crisis is deeply flawed ,” he said in a statement.

    La famille sacquer savait, dès le début...

    In May 1996, five months after OxyContin’s approval, Richard Sackler and Mr. Udell were sent an older medical journal article describing how drug abusers were extracting morphine from MS Contin tablets in order to inject the drug , prosecutors reported. A Purdue Pharma scientist researched the issue and sent his findings to several Sacklers, the government report states.
    “I found MS Contin mentioned a couple of times on the internet underground drug culture scene,” the researcher wrote in that 1996 email. “Most of it was mentioned in the context of MS Contin as a morphine source.”

    #Opioides #Sackler

  • United States Patent : 9861628

    Buprenorphine-wafer for drug substitution therapy


    The present invention relates to oral pharmaceutical dosage forms comprising buprenorphine with the dosage form releasing buprenorphine instantly upon oral, preferably sublingual, application of the dosage form. The present invention also relates to the use of such dosage forms for treating pain in a human or animal or for drug substitution therapy in drug-dependent human subjects.


    Chronic pain, which may be due to idiopathic reasons, cancer or other diseases such as rheumatism and arthritis, is typically treated with strong opioids.

    Over the last decades prejudices in the medical community as to the use of strong opioids for treating chronic pain in patients has significantly decreased. Many of the se prejudices were due to some of the characteristics being inherent to opioids.

    While opioids have always been known to be useful in pain treatment, they also display an addictive potential in view of their euphorigenic activity. Thus, if opioids are taken by healthy human subjects with a drug seeking behaviour they may lead to psychological as well as physical dependence.

    These usually undesired characteristics of opioids can however become important in certain scenarios such as drug substitution therapies for drug addicts. One of the fundamental problems of illicit drug abuse by drug addicts (“junkies”) who are dependent on the constant intake of illegal drugs such as heroin is the drug-related criminal activities resorted to by such addicts in order to raise enough money to fund their addiction. The constant pressures upon addicts to procure money for buying drugs and the concomitant criminal activities have been increasingly recognised as a major factor that counteracts efficient and long-lasting withdrawal and abstinence from drugs.

    Therefore, programmes have been developed, particularly in the United States and western European countries, in which drug addicts are allowed to take prescription drugs under close supervision of medical practitioners instead of illegal drugs such as street heroin.

    The aim of drug substitution theory is thus to first enable addicts to lead a regular life by administering legal drugs to prevent withdrawal symptoms, but because of their legal character and prescription by medical practitioners do not lead to the aforementioned described drug-related criminal activities. In a second and/or alternate step in the treatment of drug addiction may be to slowly make the drug addict less dependent on the drug by gradually reducing the dose of the substitution drug or to bridge the time until a therapy place in a withdrawal programme is available.

    The standard drug used in drug substitution therapy programmes has for a long time been methadone. However, in recent years the potential of other opioids as substitution drugs in substitution therapy has been recognised. A particularly suitable drug for that purpose is the opioid buprenorphine, which is a mixed opioid agonist/antagonist.

    Nowadays, buprenorphine preparations are administered in drug substitution programmes in the form of a tablet for sublingual administration. One of the reasons that the tablets are formulated for sublingual administration is that this the preferred route of administration for buprenorphine. Furthermore, if a patient swallows such tablets they will not provide euphorigenic activity.

    One example of sublingual tablets for drug substitution therapy is the preparation Subutex.RTM. (being marketed in Germany by Essex Pharma).

    Nevertheless, drug addicts sometimes still try to divert these sublingual buprenorphine tablets by removing them from the mouth when the supervising healthcare professional’s attention is directed to other activities. Later the tablets may be sold or the active agent buprenorphine isolated/extracted to apply it parenterally.

    Another buprenorphine preparation aimed at preventing this potential possibility of abuse has recently gained administrative approval in the United States (Suboxone.RTM.). The Suboxone.RTM. preparation comprises buprenorphine hydrochloride and the opioid antagonist naloxone hydrochloride dihydrate. The presence of naloxone is intended to prevent parenteral abuse of buprenorphine as parenteral co-administration of buprenorphine and naloxone in e.g. an opioid-dependent addict will lead to serious withdrawal symptoms.

    However, there remains a need for other diversion and/or abuse-resistant dosage forms of buprenorphine, which can be used in drug substitution therapy as described above. Additionally, it would be desirable to have a buprenorphine preparation available which is diversion and/or abuse-resistant in cases where the preparation is used for drug substitution therapy and which could also provide efficient analgesia in cases where the preparation is administered to alleviate pain in a patient.


    It is an object of the present invention to provide an oral pharmaceutical dosage form of the active agent buprenorphine that is less prone to diversion and/or abuse in drug substitution therapy. It is another object of the present invention to provide an oral dosage form of the active agent buprenorphine that can be used for drug substitution therapy and/or pain treatment.

    In one embodiment the present invention relates to an oral pharmaceutical dosage form comprising at least buprenorphine or a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof with a dosage form releasing buprenorphine or said pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof instantly upon or oral, preferably sublingual, application of the dosage form. It is, however, understood that the invention and its various embodiments which are set out below, can be extended to any opioid or analgesic whose preferred route of administration is oral, prefereably sublingual, as is the case for buprenorphine.

    An instant release of buprenorphine or a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof upon oral, preferably sublingual, application means that substantially all of the buprenorphine or said pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof will be released within less than three minutes, preferably within less than two minutes or less than one minute. Even more preferably, substantially all of the buprenorphine or said pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof will be released within less than thirty seconds, twenty seconds, ten seconds or even within less than five seconds after oral, preferably sublingual, application of the dosage form. In one of the preferred embodiments these oral dosage forms will comprise between approximately 0.1 mg and approximately 16 mg buprenorphine or the equivalent amounts of a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof.

    In a further preferred embodiment these oral pharmaceutical dosage forms will achieve an average C.sub.max of between 1.5 ng/ml and approximately 2.25 ng/ml in the case of a dose of 0.4 mg buprenorphine hydrochloride being administered. In the case of a dose of 8 mg buprenorphine HCl being administered, the C.sub.max will typically be between approximately 2.5 and 3.5 ng/ml and if a dose of 16 mg buprenorphine hydrochloride is administered the C.sub.max will preferably be between 5.5 to 6.5 ng/ml.

    Yet another preferred embodiment of the invention relates to oral pharmaceutical dosage forms which may provide for the above-mentioned characteristics and/or an average Tmax of from approximately 45 to approximately 90 minutes.

    In a particularly preferred embodiment the dosage forms will additionally comprise an opioid antagonist, preferably naloxone or a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof.

    In yet a further preferred embodiment, the pharmaceutical dosage form will comprise buprenorphine and the opioid antagonist, which preferably is naloxone, in a weight ratio of from approximately 1:1 to approximately 10:1.

    One embodiment of the present invention also relates to oral pharmaceutical dosage forms, which may have some or all of the aforementioned characteristics and wherein the dosage form has a film-like or wafer-like shape.

    Another embodiment relates to a method of manufacturing the afore-mentioned described dosage forms.

    Embodiments of the present invention also relate to the use of the afore-described oral, preferably sublingual, pharmaceutical dosage forms in the manufacture of a medicament for treating pain in a human or animal and/or for drug substitution therapy in drug-dependent human subjects.

    One aspect of the invention also relates to a method of drug substitution therapy in drug-dependent human subjects wherein the aforementioned oral pharmaceutical dosage forms are administered to a drug-dependent subject in need thereof.

    #Opioides #Sackler #Brevet #Cynisme #Capitalisme_sauvage

  • Opioid billionaire granted patent for addiction treatment | Financial Times

    Purdue owner Richard Sackler listed as inventor of drug to wean addicts off painkillers
    Richard Sackler’s family owns Purdue Pharma, the company behind the opioid painkiller OxyContin © Reuters

    David Crow in New York

    A billionaire pharmaceuticals executive who has been blamed for spurring the US opioid crisis stands to profit from the epidemic after he patented a new treatment for drug addicts.

    Richard Sackler, whose family owns Purdue Pharma, the company behind the notorious painkiller OxyContin, was granted a patent earlier this year for a reformulation of a drug used to wean addicts off opioids.

    The invention is a novel form of buprenorphine, a mild opiate that controls drug cravings, which is often given as a substitute to people hooked on heroin or opioid painkillers such as OxyContin.

    The new formulation as described in Dr Sackler’s patent could end up proving lucrative thanks to a steady increase in the number of addicts being treated with buprenorphine, which is seen as a better alternative to other opioid substitutes such as methadone.

    Last year, the leading version of buprenorphine, which is sold under the brand name Suboxone, generated $877m in US sales for Indivior, the British pharmaceuticals group that makes it.

    Before the opioid crisis, the Sackler family was primarily known for its philanthropy, emerging as one of the largest donors to arts institutions in the US and UK. But the rising number of addictions and deaths has highlighted the family’s ownership of Purdue, which some members have tried to shy away from.

    It’s reprehensible what Purdue Pharma has done to our public health
    Luke Nasta, director of Camelot

    Dr Sackler’s patent, which was granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office in January, acknowledges the threat posed by the opioid crisis, which claimed more than 42,000 lives in 2016.

    “While opioids have always been known to be useful in pain treatment, they also display an addictive potential,” the patent states. “Thus, if opioids are taken by healthy human subjects with a drug-seeking behaviour they may lead to psychological as well as physical dependence.”

    It adds: “The constant pressures upon addicts to procure money for buying drugs and the concomitant criminal activities have been increasingly recognised as a major factor that counteracts efficient and long-lasting withdrawal and abstinence from drugs.”

    However, the patent makes no mention of the fact that Purdue Pharma has been hit with more than a thousand lawsuits for allegedly fuelling the epidemic — allegations the company and the Sackler family deny.

    “It’s reprehensible what Purdue Pharma has done to our public health,” said Luke Nasta, director of Camelot, an addiction treatment centre in Staten Island, New York. He said the Sackler family “shouldn’t be allowed to peddle any more synthetic opiates — and that includes opioid substitutes”.

    Buprenorphine is prescribed to opioid addicts in tablets or thin film strips that dissolve under the tongue in less than seven minutes. These “sublingual” formulations are used to stop drug abusers from hoarding a stockpile of pills they can sell or use to get high at a later date.

    The patent describes a new, improved form of buprenorphine that would come in a wafer that disintegrated more quickly than existing versions — perhaps in just a few seconds.

    The original application was made by Purdue Pharma and Dr Sackler is listed as one of the inventors alongside five others, some of whom work or have worked for the Sackler’s group of drug companies.

    “Drug addicts sometimes still try to divert these sublingual buprenorphine tablets by removing them from the mouth,” the patent application stated. “There remains a need for other . . . abuse-resistant dosage forms.”
    US opioid epidemic
    What next for the Sacklers? A pharma dynasty under siege

    In June, the Massachusetts attorney-general filed a lawsuit against Dr Sackler and seven other members of the Sackler family, which accused them of engaging in a “deadly, deceptive scheme to sell opioids”.

    Purdue and the family deny the allegations and Purdue said it intends to file a motion to dismiss. The company points out that OxyContin was, and still is, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

    “We believe it is inappropriate for [Massachusetts] to substitute its judgment for the judgment of the regulatory, scientific and medical experts at FDA,” it said in a recent statement to the Financial Times.

    Andrew Kolodny, a professor from Brandeis University who has been a vocal advocate for greater use of buprenorphine to battle the opioid crisis, said the idea Dr Sackler “could get richer” from the patent was “very disturbing”. He added: “Perhaps the profits off this patent should be used to pay any judgment or settlement down the line.”

    Earlier this week, Purdue donated $3.4m to boost access to naloxone, an antidote given to people who have just overdosed on opioids.

    #Opioides #Cynisme #Capitalisme_sauvage #Brevets #Sackler

  • Aux États-Unis, les opioïdes tuent plus que les armes à feu

    INFOGRAPHIE - Près de 64.000 personnes ont fait une overdose en 2016 après avoir consommé des doses excessives de ces médicaments, obtenus pour la majorité sur prescription.

    Les overdoses par opioïdes font plus de victimes que les accidents de la route ou les armes à feu aux États-Unis. En 2016, près de 64. 000 personnes ont perdu la vie après avoir consommé des doses excessives d’opioïdes obtenus pour la majorité sur prescription, soit 175 morts par jour. « Aucune région des États-Unis n’est épargnée par cette épidémie. Nous avons tous un proche, un membre de la famille, un être aimé détruit par les opioïdes », s’est émue Anne Schuchat, directrice des Centres de prévention et de contrôle des maladies (CDC), en mars dernier en annonçant ce nouveau bilan dramatique en constante augmentation.

    Car la situation ne fait qu’empirer d’année en année. Depuis 1999, les prescriptions d’opioïdes forts (morphine, mais surtout oxycodone), les hospitalisations et les décès par overdose, ont été multipliés par quatre. Près de 11 millions de personnes souffriraient de dépendances à ces molécules. « Une urgence de santé publique », avait martelé Donald Trump fin 2017. Quelques mois plus tard, un plan était présenté pour lutter contre ce fléau. Centré sur la répression des dealers pour mettre un terme à la vente de Fentanyl fabriqué illégalement, ce plan promeut aussi l’accès à l’antidote aux opioïdes : la naloxone.

    En spray nasal ou sous forme de stylo injecteur, ce médicament permet de sauver les personnes en arrêt respiratoire. Une quarantaine d’États autorisent sa délivrance sans ordonnance, et certains ont équipé leurs forces de police. Tous les services d’urgence en sont également dotés. Et des nouvelles données du CDC montrent qu’ils n’hésitent pas à l’utiliser : entre 2012 et 2016, l’administration de naloxone aux urgences a augmenté de 75 %. En France, ce traitement est disponible à l’hôpital et dans les centres de soins, d’accompagnement et de prévention en addictologie (CSAPA). Il devrait prochainement être disponible en pharmacie. « Quand il le sera, je pense qu’il sera pertinent de prescrire un kit aux patients sous opioïdes, comme cela est recommandé aux États-Unis. Cela permet de sensibiliser les patients et de les responsabiliser face à leur traitement potentiellement dangereux », commente le Pr Nicolas Authier, chef du service de pharmacologie médicale au CHU de Clermont-Ferrand.
    Des nourrissons en manque

    Mais l’overdose n’est pas la seule conséquence dramatique de cette crise des opioïdes. Les CDC rapportent que le nombre de femmes enceintes dépendantes à ces morphiniques explose. Elles seraient quatre fois plus nombreuses en 2014 qu’en 1999, d’après une étude réalisée à partir des données de toutes les maternités du pays. En conséquence, les cas de nourrissons atteints de syndrome d’abstinence se multiplient. Il existe pourtant des moyens thérapeutiques pour aider ces femmes à se sevrer et réduire les risques pour leurs bébés à naître. Il est notamment possible de mettre en place un traitement de substitution aux opioïdes avec de la méthadone ou de la buprénorphine. D’action lente, il permet d’espacer les doses, d’éviter les périodes de sevrage et l’envie irrépressible de la substance.

    Désormais au pied du mur, les États-Unis tentent de faire volte-face. « L’éducation des médecins et du grand public est un élément clé », assure Yasmin Hurd, directrice de l’Institut des addictions de l’hôpital Mount Sinai à New York. Elle semble d’autant plus indispensable que le durcissement des conditions de prescription ne semble avoir aucun effet sur les médecins américains. Pour sensibiliser les médecins aux risques des opioïdes, le Dr Jason Doctor, spécialiste de santé publique à l’université de Californie du Sud, a eu une idée simple : avertir par courrier les médecins lorsque l’un de leurs patients décède d’une overdose. Et il montre dans la revueScience que cela fonctionne. En moins de trois mois, les médecins ayant appris la mort de leur malade ont réduit de 10 % les doses d’opioïdes prescrites, et ont même rédigé moins d’ordonnances que les médecins laissés dans l’ignorance.

  • La surconsommation d’antalgiques opioïdes alarme les experts

    Les prescriptions de ce type de médicaments contre les douleurs chroniques ne cessent d’augmenter et le nombre d’overdoses est en hausse..

    La crise des opioïdes qui ravage les États-Unis et le Canada n’a pas atteint la France. Loin de là. Mais les experts s’alarment déjà : les prescriptions d’antalgiques opioïdes forts grimpent en flèche, et le nombre d’overdoses ne cesse de progresser. Des tendances qui laissent comme un sentiment de déjà-vu…

    Fin juillet dans le European Journal of Pain, l’Observatoire français des médicaments antalgiques (Ofma), créé en 2017 pour prévenir l’émergence d’une crise sanitaire, a rapporté que l’usage des opioïdes forts (morphine, oxycodone et Fentanyl) a plus que doublé entre 2004 et 2017. Aujourd’hui, plus de 12 millions de Français sont traités chaque année avec un analgésique opioïde, dont un million avec un opioïde fort. Et une donnée interpelle : la consommation d’oxycodone, un opioïde puissant grandement responsable du drame qui se joue outre-Atlantique, a été multipliée par 20 en une décennie.

    « Auparavant réservée aux patients atteints de cancer, cette molécule ...

    #paywall #opioid_crises #sackler #purdue #mundi_pharma #big_pharma
    cc @hlc

  • Purdue Pharma Cuts Rest of Its Sales Force in Opioids Pullback - Bloomberg

    Oxycontin-maker Purdue Pharma LP cut the remainder of its sales force this week, the latest move by the company to distance itself from opioids as it faces accusations that it contributed to the nation’s addiction crisis.

    The Stamford, Connecticut-based drugmaker said it will retain about 550 employees after chopping around 350 positions, including about 250 employees focused on promoting the treatment for opioid-induced constipation, Symproic. That product launched last year in partnership with Japan-based Shionogi & Co. The other employees worked in the company’s headquarters.

    #Opioides #Purdue_Pharma #Sackler

  • OxyContin Manufacturer Says It Will Stop Promoting Opioid Painkiller To Doctors : NPR

    SHAPIRO: How much money has this drug made for Purdue Pharma over the years?

    QUINONES: Well, it’s a private company. I’m not sure exactly. But estimates that I have read - between $35 and $40 billion in sales since the drug came out in 1996. It’s basically the reason why the Sackler family, which owns Purdue, is one of the wealthiest families in America. Forbes magazine pegged it as one of the wealthiest families in America due almost entirely to the sales of OxyContin.

    #Opioides #Sackler

  • Enquête. OxyContin, un antidouleur addictif à la conquête du monde | Courrier international

    Face à l’épidémie d’addiction aux opioïdes analgésiques qui a déjà causé 200 000 morts dans le pays, l’establishment médical américain commence à prendre ses distances avec les antalgiques. Les plus hauts responsables de la santé incitent les généralistes à ne plus les prescrire en cas de douleur chronique, expliquant que rien ne prouve leur efficacité sur le long terme et que de nombreux indices montrent qu’ils mettent en danger les patients.

    Les prescriptions d’OxyContin ont baissé d’environ 40 % depuis 2010, ce qui se traduit par plusieurs milliards de manque à gagner pour son fabricant, basé dans le Connecticut, Purdue Pharma.

    La famille Sackler, propriétaire du laboratoire, a donc décidé d’adopter une nouvelle stratégie : faire adopter l’oxycodone, l’analgésique qui a déclenché la crise des opioïdes aux États-Unis, dans les cabinets médicaux du reste du monde.
    Best-seller pharmaceutique

    Un réseau d’entreprises internationales détenues par la famille est en train de s’implanter en Amérique latine, en Asie, au Moyen-Orient, en Afrique et dans d’autres régions, et d’encourager le recours généralisé aux antalgiques dans des endroits très mal outillés pour faire face aux ravages de l’abus d’opioïdes et de la dépendance qu’ils induisent.

    Pour mener à bien cette expansion mondiale, ces entreprises, regroupées sous le nom collectif de Mundipharma, utilisent quelques-unes des méthodes controversées de marketing qui ont fait de l’OxyContin un best-seller pharmaceutique aux États-Unis. Au Brésil, en Chine et ailleurs, les sociétés mettent en place des séminaires de formation dans lesquels on encourage les médecins à surmonter leur “opiophobie” et à prescrire des antalgiques. Elles sponsorisent des campagnes de sensibilisation qui poussent les gens à solliciter un traitement médical de leurs douleurs chroniques. Elles vont même jusqu’à proposer des ristournes aux patients afin de rendre plus abordables les opioïdes sur ordonnance.
    Les leçons de l’expérience américaine

    Le directeur américain de la santé publique [surgeon general], Vivek H. Murthy, a déclaré qu’il conseillerait à ses homologues étrangers d’être “très prudents” avec les médicaments opiacés, et de tirer les leçons des “erreurs” américaines. “Je voudrais les exhorter à envisager avec une extrême prudence la commercialisation de ces médicaments”, a-t-il déclaré dans une interview.

    Aujourd’hui, avec le recul, nous nous rendons compte que pour nombre d’entre eux les bénéfices ne compensaient pas les risques.”

    L’ancien commissaire de l’agence des produits alimentaires et des médicaments [Food and Drug Administration] David A. Kessler a estimé que l’aveuglement face aux dangers des antalgiques constitue l’une des plus grosses erreurs de la médecine moderne. Évoquant l’entrée de Mundipharma sur les marchés étrangers, il a déclaré que la démarche était “exactement la même que celle des grands fabricants de cigarettes. Alors que les États-Unis prennent des mesures pour limiter les ventes sur leur territoire, l’entreprise se développe à l’international.”
    Un marketing agressif

    Des représentants de Mundipharma et certains de ses matériels promotionnels s’emploient à minorer les risques d’addiction des patients aux opioïdes. Ces affirmations rappellent la première campagne de commercialisation de l’OxyContin aux États-Unis à la fin des années 1990, dans laquelle Purdue avait trompé les médecins au sujet de la nature addictive du médicament.

    En 2007, Purdue et trois hauts responsables de l’entreprise ont plaidé coupable face aux accusations fédérales de publicité mensongère sur leurs médicaments. Ils ont été condamnés à une amende de 635 millions de dollars. L’agence fédérale de lutte contre la drogue [Drug Enforcement Administration] a estimé en 2003 que le marketing “agressif, excessif et inapproprié” de l’entreprise avait “aggravé de manière très importante” l’usage abusif et le trafic illégal de l’OxyContin.

    Purdue était une petite firme pharmaceutique new-yorkaise lorsque les frères Mortimer et Raymond Sackler, tous deux

    Harriet RyanLisa Girion et Scott Glover

    #Mundipharma #Sackler #Opioides

  • The #Opioid Timebomb: The #Sackler family and how their painkiller fortune helps bankroll London arts | London Evening Standard

    We sent all 33 non-profits the same key questions including: will they rename their public space (as some organisations have done when issues arose regarding former benefactors)? And will they accept future Sackler philanthropy?

    About half the respondents, including the Royal Opera House and the National Gallery, where Dame Theresa Sackler is respectively an honorary director and a patron, declined to answer either question.

    Of the rest, none said it planned to erase the Sackler name from its public space. The organisations’ positions were more guarded on future donations.

    Only the V&A, Oxford University, the Royal Court Theatre and the National Maritime Museum said outright that they were open to future Sackler grants.

    The V&A said: “The Sackler family continue to be a valuable donor to the V&A and we are grateful for their ongoing support.”

    Millions for London: Where Sackler money has gone

    Serpentine Galleries

    Grants received/pledged: £5,500,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Serpentine Sackler Gallery
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Won’t say


    Grants received/pledged: £4,650,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Sackler Gallery, Sackler Escalators, Sackler Octagon
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Won’t say

    Dulwich Picture Gallery

    Grants received/pledged: £3,491,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Sackler Centre for Arts Education
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Won’t say

    V&A Museum

    Grants received/pledged: £2,500,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Sackler Courtyard
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Yes

    The Design Museum

    Grants received/pledged: £1,500,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Sackler Library and Archive
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? No reply

    Natural History Museum

    Grants received/pledged: £1,255,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Sackler Biodiversity Imaging Laboratory
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Subject to vetting that typically takes into account “reputational risk” and “all relevant new information about the donor in the public domain”

    National Gallery

    Grants received/pledged: £1,050,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Sackler Room (Room 34)
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Won’t say

    National Portrait Gallery

    Grants received/pledged: £1,000,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Pledged grant still being vetted
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Being vetted. Subject to vetting that typically takes into account “reputational risk” and “all relevant new information about the donor in the public domain”

    The Garden Museum

    Grants received/pledged: £850,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Sackler Garden
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? No reply

    National Maritime Museum

    Grants received/pledged: £230,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Sackler Research Fellowships
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Yes

    Museum of London

    Grants received/pledged: Refused to disclose grants received
    Used to fund (among other things): Sackler Hall
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Subject to vetting that typically takes into account “reputational risk” and “all relevant new information about the donor in the public domain”

    Royal Academy of Arts

    Grants received/pledged: Refused to disclose grants received
    Used to fund (among other things): Sackler Wing, Sackler Sculpture Gallery
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Subject to vetting that typically takes into account “reputational risk” and “all relevant new information about the donor in the public domain”


    Old Vic

    Grants received/pledged: £2,817,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Productions and projects
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Won’t say

    Royal Opera House

    Grants received/pledged: £2,500,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Won’t say
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Won’t say

    National Theatre

    Grants received/pledged: £2,000,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Sackler Pavilion
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Won’t say

    Shakespeare’s Globe

    Grants received/pledged: £1,660,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Sackler Studios
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Won’t say

    Royal Court Theatre

    Grants received/pledged: £360,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Sackler Trust Trainee Scheme
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Yes


    University of Oxford

    Grants received/pledged: £11,000,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Bodleian Sackler Library, Keeper of Antiquities
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Yes

    University of Sussex

    Grants received/pledged: £8,400,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Won’t say

    King’s College, London

    Grants received/pledged: £6,950,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Sackler Institute for Translational Neurodevelopment
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Subject to vetting that typically takes into account “reputational risk” and “all relevant new information about the donor in the public domain”

    The Francis Crick Institute

    Grants received/pledged: £5,000,000
    Used to fund (among other things): One-off funds raised via CRUK to help build the Crick
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? N/A


    Grants received/pledged: £2,654,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Sackler Institute for Musculo-Skeletal Research
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Subject to vetting that typically takes into account “reputational risk” and “all relevant new information about the donor in the public domain”

    Royal College of Art

    Grants received/pledged: £2,500,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Sackler Building
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Subject to vetting that typically takes into account “reputational risk” and “all relevant new information about the donor in the public domain”

    The Courtauld Institute of Art

    Grants received/pledged: £1,170,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Sackler Research Fellowship, Sackler Lecture Series
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Won’t say

    Royal Ballet School

    Grants received/pledged: £1,000,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Won’t say
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Won’t say

    Imperial College London

    Grants received/pledged: £618,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Knee research
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Subject to vetting that typically takes into account “reputational risk” and “all relevant new information about the donor in the public domain”

    Old Royal Naval College

    Grants received/pledged: £500,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Sackler Gallery
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Won’t say


    Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

    Grants received/pledged: £3,100,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Sackler Crossing footbridge
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Subject to vetting that typically takes into account “reputational risk” and “all relevant new information about the donor in the public domain”

    Moorfields Eye Hospital

    Grants received/pledged: £3,000,000
    Used to fund (among other things): New eye centre (pledged only)
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Won’t say

    The London Library

    Grants received/pledged: £1,000,000
    Used to fund (among other things): The Sackler Study
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Won’t say

    The Prince’s Trust

    Grants received/pledged: £775,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Programmes for disadvantaged youth
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Subject to vetting that typically takes into account “reputational risk” and “all relevant new information about the donor in the public domain”

    Westminster Abbey

    Grants received/pledged: £500,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Restoration of Henry VII Chapel
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? Won’t say

    Royal Hospital for Neurodisability

    Grants received/pledged: £350,000
    Used to fund (among other things): Won’t say
    Will you accept future Sackler grants? No reply

    cc @hlc

    • Rob Reich, an ethics professor at Stanford University, has said that non-profits taking future Sackler donations could be seen as being “complicit in the reputation-laundering of the donor”.

      La liste ci dessus ne concerne que la GB mais en France la liste doit être longue aussi et encore plus aux USA et probablement un peu partout dans le monde.

      But our FoI requests revealed that at least one major Sackler donation has been held up in the vetting process: namely a £1 million grant for the National Portrait Gallery.

      The gallery said: “The Sackler Trust pledged a £1 million grant in June 2016 for a future project, but no funds have been received as this is still being vetted as part of our internal review process.

      Each gift is assessed on a case-by-case basis and where necessary, further information and advice is sought from third parties.”

      It added that its ethical fundraising policy sets out “unacceptable sources of funding” and examines the risk involved in “accepting support which may cause significant potential damage to the gallery’s reputation”.

    • What do the Sacklers say in their defence? The three brothers who founded Purdue in the Fifties — Arthur, Mortimer and Raymond — are dead but their descendants have conflicting views.

      Arthur’s daughter Elizabeth Sackler, 70, said her side of the family had not benefited a jot from OxyContin, which was invented after they were bought out in the wake of her father’s death in 1987. She has called the OxyContin fortune “morally abhorrent”.

      Her stepmother, British-born Jillian Sackler, who lives in New York and is a trustee at the Royal Academy of Arts, has called on the other branches of the family to acknowledge their “moral duty to help make this right and to atone for mistakes made”.

      But the OxyContin-rich branches of the family have remained silent. Representatives of Mortimer’s branch — the London Sacklers — said nobody was willing to speak on their behalf and referred us to Purdue’s communications director, Robert Josephson. He confirmed that the US-based Sacklers — Raymond’s branch — would not speak to us either, but that a Purdue spokesman would answer our questions.

      We asked the Purdue spokesman: does Purdue, and by extension the Sacklers, acknowledge the opioid crisis and a role in it?

      “Absolutely we acknowledge there is an opioid crisis,” he said, from Purdue’s HQ in Stamford, Connecticut. “But what’s driving the deaths is illicitly manufactured #fentanyl from China. It’s extremely potent and mixed with all sorts of stuff.”


      Philip Hopwood, 56, whose addiction to OxyContin and other opioids destroyed his £3 million business and his marriage, said: “If the Sackler family had a shred of decency, they would divert their philanthropy to help people addicted to the drugs they continue to make their fortune from.

      “The non-profits should be ashamed. At the very least they should be honest about the source of their funds.

      The V&A should rename their courtyard the OxyContin Courtyard and the Serpentine should call their gallery the OxyContin Gallery.

      “The money that built these public spaces comes from a drug that is killing people and ruining lives. They can no longer turn a blind eye. I’d feel sick to walk into a Sackler-named space.”