Meet the Sacklers: The Family That’s Killing Millions (Maybe More Than Stalin)

Meet the Sacklers: The Family That’s Killing Millions (Maybe More Than Stalin):

Story at-a-glance

  • Opioids are now the leading cause of death among Americans under the age of 50. Between 2002 and 2015, more than 202,600 Americans died from overdosing on opioids
  • The massive increase in opioid sales has been blamed on an orchestrated marketing plan aimed at misinforming doctors about the addictive potential of these drugs
  • Purdue Pharma was one of the most successful in this regard, driving sales of OxyContin up from $48 million in 1996 to $1.5 billion in 2002
  • Purdue Pharma is owned by the Sackler family, whose estimated worth is about $14 billion. While well-known for their philanthropic pursuits, the Sacklers have been careful not to associate the family name with Purdue Pharma or OxyContin
  • In 2007, Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty to charges of misbranding OxyContin “with intent to defraud and mislead the public,” and paid $634 million in fines. A non-prosecution agreement accompanying the settlement shielded the Sackler family members from personal accountability

By Dr. Mercola

The U.S. has a massive opioid addiction problem. According to the U.S. surgeon general, more Americans now use prescription opioids than smoke cigarettes,1 and addiction to narcotic pain relievers now costs the U.S. more than $193 billion each year. The Manchester, New Hampshire, fire department recently said it now responds to more calls for drug overdoses than fires.2 That’s not so surprising when you consider that opioids are now the leading cause of death among Americans under the age of 50.3

The following graph by the National Institute on Drug Abuse shows the progressive incline in overdose deaths related to opioid pain relievers between 2002 and 2015.4 This does not include deaths from heroin addiction, which we now know is a common side effect of getting hooked on these powerful prescription narcotics. In all, we’re looking at just over 202,600 deaths in this 13-year time frame alone.5

H/t reader squodgy.

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