UPDATED 2019/01/30 3:00PM
The Sacklers (one of America’s richest families) and members of their company, Purdue Pharma, have been named in a Massachusetts lawsuit that accuses them of profiting from America’s opioid crisis by aggressively marketing the drug OxyCotin, which creates an opioid dependency. Attorneys for the family and Purdue Pharma deny these claims.
A court ruling on Monday, January 28th decided that the details of the case will become public on February 1st as the defense’s protests were “hardly compelling” enough to keep the information private.
The allegations against the family and their company are that there “appear to be discussions of tactics that could be used to promote the sales of OxyContin (particularly in higher doses), to encourage doctors to prescribe the drug over longer periods of time, and to circumvent safeguards put in place to stop illegal prescriptions,” according to the judge who oversaw the case.
Purdue insists that the Attorney General of Massachusetts is cherry-picking from tens of millions of emails to distract from omissions of fact. Meanwhile, the AG said in a statement, “For many years, Purdue, its executives, and members of the Sackler family have tried to shift the blame and hide their role in creating the opioid epidemic. We are grateful to the court for lifting the impoundment on our complaint so that the public and families so deeply impacted by this crisis can see the allegations of the misconduct that has harmed so many.”