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U.S. Ruling Gives Sackler Family, Owners Of Purdue Pharma, Immunity From Opioid Lawsuits


The Sackler family, the wealthy owners of Purdue Pharma, will be shielded from future lawsuits related to the opioid epidemic under a plan approved by a U.S. federal appeals court.

Richard Sackler, Chairman and President of Purdue Pharma
[Image source: Wikimedia]


Purdue Pharma, an American drug company, is seen by many observers as having been largely responsible for the rise of the devastating opioid drug crisis in the United States. After introducing OxyContin, a powerful opioid painkiller, in 1996, the company proceeded to market it aggressively claiming that it was supposedly less addictive, less subject to abuse, and less likely to cause narcotic side effects. Seduced by Purdue Pharma’s deceptive marketing, American doctors subsequently wrote huge numbers of prescriptions for the drug.

Tragically, between 1999 and 2020, around 263,000 Americans are believed to have lost their lives as a result of overdoses related to prescription opioid drugs. Court filings suggest members of the notorious Sackler family, who own Purdue Pharma, directed efforts to mislead doctors and patients about the dangers of OxyContin.

Now, however, in exchange for $6 billion that will apparently go towards funding treatments for addiction, the Sacklers have been given immunity from future opioid epidemic-related lawsuits. This will still reportedly leave them with a collective fortune worth billions. Not surprisingly, therefore, the outcome has left a sour taste in the mouths of many, with campaigners continuing to call for criminal charges to be brought against the family.

To read why we say it is now time to treat the pharma cartel like the tobacco cartel, see this article on our website.