The Sackler Clan – The Family Who Endorsed OxyContin

Before the Sackler Clan came to being, OxyContin was just known as an experimental drug from Germany during World War I. When Arthur, Mortimer, and Raymond Sackler bought Purdue Pharmacy and advertised OxyContin to relieve strong pain, they became the 16th most richest family in the world. In Europe, 38.8% abuse opioids including OxyContin. Why does this family keep a low profile? The Sackler Clan learned the harsh realities that came from advertising a miracle drug and the deadly consequences that come from OxyContin.

The Sackler Clan have estimated sales more than $35 billion ever since they released OxyContin in 1995. Their current net worth is $14 billion. They have also made large donations to museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Smithsonian, the Guggenheim, The Tate Gallery, and The Louvre as well as universities like Harvard, Columbia, Oxford, NYU, Tufts, and the University of Edinburgh. Arthur, Mortimer, and Raymond Sackler all attended medical school together and were fascinated in the biological aspects of psychiatric disorders. They bought Purdue Pharmacy in 1952 and began selling laxatives and earwax remover.

After Arthur’s death in 1987, the remaining brothers decided to endorse in OxyContin in which they advertised it as non-addictive as the drug can be spread in a 12 hour period. Their advertisements would be seen in medical journals and literature in doctor’s offices. Launched in 1995, doctors would be prescribing their patients OxyContin for painful symptoms. In 1991, there were 10 million prescriptions of OxyContin a year which has spiked since 2012 where there are 53 million a year. By 2002, the Sackler Clan would be making $1.5 billion a year.

What the brothers did not see coming is that people could make the effects of OxyContin faster by crushing the pills and snorting them. The brothers were charged after addiction, overdoses, and accidental deaths occurred. In 2007, Purdue had to pay $635 million in fines after pleading guilty to false marketing charges by the Department of Justice. Kentucky is still trying to charge Purdue which can result in a $1 billion dollar payout but Purdue does not believe that the company’s marketing is what caused the harm that came. Raymond Sackler is 94 years-old and the only living founder of the company. The Sacklers still keep a low profile in the public eye and are not involved in the day-to-day management of the company anymore.

Smarmore Castle Private Clinic in County Louth, near Dublin was founded in 1988 as a residential rehabilitation hospital treating people suffering from drug and alcohol purposes. Smarmore Castle believes the sooner the painkiller addiction is tackled through a comprehensive detox and therapy programme, the greater the chance for full and long-lasting recovery. Smarmore treats a number of painkiller addictions such as Buprenorphine (Subutex), Buprenorphine & Naloxone (Suboxone), Codeine, Fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic, Sublimaze), Hydrocodone (Vicodin), Methadone, Morphine (Kadian, Avinza), Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), and Tramadol (ConZip, Ultram). For more information, please call 041-214-5111. For those who live out of the country, the international number is 00353-41-214-5111.

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