Dr. Richard Sackler of the United States is also a successful businessman. He formerly served as president of Purdue Pharma, where OxyContin was created.
The opioid epidemic in the United States, in which hundreds of thousands of people have been murdered or injured, is widely attributed to Sackler.
Sackler was born into a rich New York City family in 1945. He completed his undergraduate studies at Columbia University and then went on to medical school at New York University. He started working at Purdue Pharma in 1971 and eventually became president by 1999.
Sackler controlled the production and distribution of OxyContin when he was president of Purdue. He was instrumental in deceiving medical professionals into thinking that OxyContin was safer and less addictive than competing medications.
It is commonly considered that OxyContin contributed significantly to the opioid epidemic by becoming one of the most prescribed medicines in the United States.
Richard Sackler Net Worth
American businessman and physician Richard Sackler has a $1 billion fortune. All told, the Sackler family is worth between $14 and $15 billion. Richard Sackler has gained notoriety due to his association with Purdue Pharma, the pharmaceutical company his family founded.
As head of the business that made OxyContin, he helped fuel the ongoing opioid epidemic that has killed or injured hundreds of thousands of people in the United States. Numerous lawsuits and sanctions were levied against Sackler, his family, and Purdue after the scandal broke.
Sackler Family Fined $225 Million in Opioid Crisis Settlement
Purdue gained prominence as a major culprit in the United States’ fatal opioid epidemic in the 2000s. In 2007, the business paid up $600 million, one of the highest settlements ever achieved for a US pharmaceutical firm, for deceiving the public about the addictiveness of OxyContin.
In 2015, four attorneys in Louisville, Kentucky took a deposition from Sackler. Purdue paid $24 million to avoid going to trial, admitted no fault, and required that damaging internal documents be destroyed or returned to Kentucky authorities.
The state of Massachusetts filed a lawsuit against Sackler and Purdue in 2018 for allegedly deceiving doctors and patients about the serious hazards of OxyContin in order to increase sales. Purdue sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection the next year in New York.
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In 2020, Purdue reportedly settled for $8 billion, admitting that the company had plotted to promote OxyContin without a valid medical justification. The Sackler family was fined an additional $225 million.
A bill to prevent the bankruptcy court from granting the Sacklers legal immunity during bankruptcy proceedings was presented in the US House of Representatives in early 2021. Purdue was able to get approval for a proposal to formally dissolve the firm and reorganize it as a public benefit corporation later in the year, with the express purpose of compensating victims of the opioid crisis.
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