We all know the notable family who have their business in the field of pharmaceuticals, the Sackler Family. In their family, most of the family member is a part of the popular pharmaceutical company named Purdue Pharma. Having such a big business as well as so many branches and extensions, it has been a bit difficult for the Sackler family to manage. Some of their members have been through criticisms. Other than that, they also went through a lot of lawsuits.
The reason shown was that they had prescribed more addictive pharmaceuticals, which is more than the required dose. The addictive drugs which were prescribed are namely Oxycontin. Apart from that, we all remember the crisis of opioids that took place in parts of North America. Even in that crisis the Purdue Pharma’s has a major role to play.
History of the family
We all know the popular Issac Sackler, the person who established the esteemed company named Purdue Pharma. Yes, you guessed it right, the Sackler family is a successor of Issac Sackler and his wife, Sophie. The Sackler family has its roots in Jewish ancestry. They are the emigrants from the state of Galicia, or as we may call the place nowadays, that is Ukraine. Some of their ancestors are also from Poland. Before their business in the pharmaceutical field, they had their grocery business in the beautiful place named Brooklyn. Issac and Sophie had three sons, namely Arthur, Mortimer, and Raymond Sackler. Talking about the education of the children, they pursued medical. Later they took up the profession of being psychiatrists. Having started their way in the way of the medical field, they are often told that they are almost the first family to have their career in the field of medication techniques. Later they also established the common practice of lobotomies. Apart from that, they were also the first family who fought the racial integration of the blood banks.
Gradually with time, they made more funds which further lead to them buying a small pharmaceutical company named Purdue Frederick. They bought the company in 1952. The company was mainly handled by two brothers named Raymond and Mortimer. On the other hand, Arthur, who was the oldest among the three, got involved in the medical advertising field. Apart from being a medical professional, he was also passionate about the arts. He was one of the elite collectors of arts during his time. Having such a wide variety of art, he gifted some of his art collection to various museums around the world. The passionate art lover that is Arthur left the world in 1987. The share that he had in the company was later sold by his estate manager. His other two brothers bought the share Arthur had and further extended the company. They titled the company Purdue Pharma.
With time not only they increased their funds but also their skills and knowledge in the field of medication and pharmaceutical. By 1996 they invented by reformulating a better and yet slow-release version of the Oxycodone drugs. They named it Oxycontin. The new drug in the market received heavy promotion and advertisement. Later the old drug Oxycodon became the main reason for the emergence of the opioid epidemic. After some time, the branch that belongs to older brother Arthur Sackler was claimed to have not participated or earned any benefit from the narcotics sale that the company made. The claim was given by Arthur Sackler’s daughter named Elizabeth Sackler. But Elizabeth’s father, Arthur Sackler, has already received a lot of criticizes for being the first one to promote marketing techniques that he made in the promotion of the non-opioids in the earlier years of their business.
From that time till 2018, their business went quite well until they were regarded as the defendants in a lawsuit that was filed by many states. The charges were filed against the members, namely Richard Sackler, Theresa Sackler, Kathe Sackler, Jonathan Sackler, Mortimer Sackler, Beverly Sackler, David Sackler as well as Ilene Sackler. Before having charges regarding the lawsuit, the Sackler family was counter under the Forbes list, which was America’s Richest Families. They earned the position in 2015.
Being such an established family in the field of pharmaceuticals, the Sackler family has gone through some lawsuits and a lot of criticizes and allegations. Their main source of earning is Purdue Pharma and its branches and extension all around. By 2016 the net worth of the Sackler family was somewhere estimated to be $13million. But for some reason or the other, the net worth dropped by December 2020. By December 2020, the net worth of the Sackler family is somewhere estimated to be $10.8billion.
Having such a big business helped them to have more and more charitable works. The Sackler family made a huge donation to many esteemed cultural institutions, which included the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the Guggenheim, the Smithsonian. The Jewish Museum(Manhattan), the Tate Gallery, the National Gallery, the Natural History Museum which is in London, The Victoria and Albert Museum. The list does not end here but continues the Royal Botanic Gardens, which is in Kew, the British Museum, Shakespeare’s Globe, the Serpentine Galleries, and the Louvre.
Other than that, the family also donated to many educational institutions, including universities, namely Harvard University, the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, Columbia University, Tufts University, New York University the Royal College of Arts. In this list, the University of Sussex and the University of Edinburgh are also included. Apart from that, the Tel Aviv University donated to make a medical facility room. The room was later retitled after the name of Arthur Mortimer and Raymond Sackler for the huge donation that they made. They also made a donation for building the Sackler Institute of Pulmonary Pharmacology at the esteemed King’s College London. The institute was named after Mortimer and Theresa Sackler. Gradually with time, they became more and more successful and donated more for the cause of education of children. They were also able to build enough medical facility rooms.
In the year 2019, the Sackler family lawsuit suit was filed in the Southern District of New York. The suit was filed by a total of 500 counties, cities, and by a different tribe of Native America as well. The charges that were applied were mainly against the eight members of the Sackler family named Richard Jonathan Mortimer Kathe Davis Beverly. In the list of charges, Theresa and Ilene Sackler Lefcourt were also included. Apart from that, they were charged for another suit that was bought up by Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Utah. With all this at the center level, the family faces a total of 1600 cases.
The lawsuits kept on increasing; by March 2021, the family filed a restructuring plan to dissolve the company named Purdue Pharma, to establish a new company. With this new company, they have decided to dedicate programs that will help them to combat the opioid crisis, which is according to the court documents that were filled on the 15th of March 2021. To resolve all the civil claims, the Sackler family has decided to pay off the US $4.2 billion over the span of nine years.