OxyContin Nation: Meet The Billionaire Family Who Helped Spark America's Opiod Crisis

Unbeknownst to many, the Sackler Family, with assets of $13 billion, the nation’s 19th wealthiest family is one the top players in philanthropy. You can find the Sackler Gallery in the Smithsonian museum in Washington, D.C. or visit the Sackler wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The Sackler’s even have a museum at Harvard, Guggenheim, and dozen of universities around the country. If it’s art— the Sackler family has it.

Participating in the art game takes money and a lot of it. So, where does the Sackler money come from?

According to Forbes, the “Sacklers continue to reap hundreds of millions of dollars in profits from the businesses in 2016– some $700 million last year, by Forbes’ calculations - from an estimated $3 billion in Purdue Pharma revenues plus at least $1.5 billion in sales from their foreign companies”.

Forbes outlines a brief history lesson of how the Sackler family got started in the world of medicine-

The family fortune began in 1952 when three doctors — Arthur (d. 1987), Mortimer (d. 2010) and Raymond Sackler — purchased Purdue, then a small and struggling New York drug manufacturer. The company spent decades selling products like earwax remover and laxatives before moving into pain medications by the late 1980s. To create OxyContin, Purdue married oxycodone, a generic painkiller, with a time-release mechanism to combat abuse by spreading the drug’s effects over a half-day.


The FDA approved the medication in 1995 and it soon took off. By 2003 OxyContin sales hit $1.6 billion as the drug helped drive a huge nationwide spike in opioid prescribing. At its peak in 2012, doctors wrote more than 282 million prescriptions for opioid painkillers, including OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet  — nearly enough for every American to have a bottle.


Now opioid prescriptions are declining amid increased scrutiny over drug addiction, down 12% since 2012 according to data from healthcare information firm IMS Health. OxyContin (which is also beginning to face competition from authorized generics while fighting to protect its patents over tamper-proof, extended-release oxycodone) saw prescriptions fall 17%.  

It wasn’t until the 1980’s, as explained by Forbes, the Sackler family through their family-owned drug company called Purdue Pharma created OxyContin. Then in 1995, the FDA approved the medication and sales exploded. Sales hit $1.6 billion in 2003, as a nationwide spike in opioids was seen. By the peak in 2012, doctors wrote more than 282 million prescription for opioid painkillers, such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet. Good times for the Sacklers from 1996- 2012, as the family drug business exploded.

According to The New Yorker, Oxycontin ” has reportedly generated some thirty-five billion dollars in revenue for Purdue” since 1995. OxyContin’s sole active ingredient is oxycodone, a chemical cousin of heroin, which makes it highly addictive.

The New Yorker further says Purdue used marketing techniques to deceive the American public of the drug’s true addictive characteristics.

Purdue launched OxyContin with a marketing campaign that attempted to counter this attitude and change the prescribing habits of doctors. The company funded research and paid doctors to make the case that concerns about opioid addiction were overblown, and that OxyContin could safely treat an ever-wider range of maladies. Sales representatives marketed OxyContin as a product “to start with and to stay with.” Millions of patients found the drug to be a vital salve for excruciating pain. But many others grew so hooked on it that, between doses, they experienced debilitating withdrawal.

Oddly enough, around the time OxyContin was approved, prescription opioid deaths across the United States surged. Fast forward to more relevant times, where heroin and fentanyl deaths are exploding.

Diving into the opioid crisis onto the streets of Baltimore. It’s very common to see local citizens shooting up heroin on city streets. In this video, I asked a man how did this addiction start? Guess what he said?... It all started with legal painkillers, such as OxyContin. 

As a few parasitical elites make billions flooding America’s streets with opioids. We the every day American citizen have to deal with the consequences, as President Trump outlined in yesterday’s opioid crisis speech:

  • In 2016, more than two million Americans had an addiction to prescription or illicit opioids.
  • Since 2000, over 300,000 Americans have died from overdoses involving opioids.
  • Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury death in the United States, outnumbering both traffic crashes and gun-related deaths.
  • In 2015, there were 52,404 drug overdose deaths — 33,091 of those deaths, almost two-thirds, involved the use of opioids.
  • The situation has only gotten worse, with drug overdose deaths in 2016 expected to exceed 64,000.
  • This represents a rate of 175 deaths a day.

Bottomline: It’s time for the American people to learn the truth about the opioid crisis and the very few elites who have profited. The question You should ask: why did our government allow this to happen?


7thGenMO FlKeysFisherman Sat, 10/28/2017 - 11:46 Permalink

"why did our government allow this to happen?" - please Tylers!  ZHedgers know .gov doesn't work for them.  It works for (((they))) and their WASP concubines who control the petrodollar system and fund every politician in DC.  If the sheeple don't like their fat, stressed-out existence, .gov will keep GI's in Afghanistan guarding the poppy fields to keep opium abundant to sedate them.

In reply to by FlKeysFisherman

helloimjohnnycat Welder Sat, 10/28/2017 - 14:20 Permalink

No probably about it.The jooz did it.They are guilty.How the West Was Jooed is an ongoing saga. Gut wrenching it is.Trump is fulla' McDonalds. America will never be great as long as jooz infect the systems which separate modern civilization from jungle-time. Reversion to the mean is moving at a rapid pace.At first blush, Trump has a decent looking family, but none of those fuckers seem very bright.  Money buys favors, not intelligence.  

In reply to by Welder

Déjà view guru69 Sat, 10/28/2017 - 23:52 Permalink

Ohio attorney general sues 5 pharma companies over their role in the opioid epidemic
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is suing five makers of opioid painkillers for their role in the state's opioid epidemic.
The five companies named in the suit are Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Endo Health Solutions and Allergan.

Teva Pharmaceutical interim president and CEO Yitzhak Peterburg said the health -care industry ... production plant at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.'s headquarters in Jerusalem, Israel.

In reply to by guru69

Endgame Napoleon helloimjohnnycat Sun, 10/29/2017 - 11:42 Permalink

The opioid epidemic has a lot to do with a horrible economy that is causing massive stress levels in the underemployed, un-cushioned and rigged bottom of the workforce, with socialism-for-some programs that distribute layers of unearned income for womb productivity providing extra cash to the the cushioned side of the underemployed workforce.

What do they use that cash for?

Some single parents, working the welfare-reform minimum of 20 hours per week to stay below the income limit for welfare—with their free rent, free groceries and free electricity—likely spend their monthly cash assistance and child-tax-credit checks between $3,337 to $6,269 on escapism in this form. They also often spend their womb-productivity income from the US Treasury Department on tattoos, trips to Florida with boyfriends and master bedroom furniture.

You can do that when rent does not absorb half or more of your earned-only income.

Economic breakdown is the driver of the opioid epidemic. One family did not cause the current economic decay, but the loss of full-time, non-temp, non-churn jobs did.

Job displacement by robots, like the pill-producing robots in lights-out factories in Big Pharma, is adding to the economic strife that was already present due to 1) a welfare and child-tax-credit-aided immigration invasion that drives wages down to nothing, 2) a welfare-fueled single momma workforce with a financial incentive from government to accept low pay and part-time hours, 3) married moms competing for part-time jobs with no need to make more money due to a spousal income, 4) offshoring, 5) outsourcing, etc.

Human workers are not really needed in any meaningful way or in any way that leads to the dignity and freedom of financing basic bills, like rent, on earned-only income, as opposed to a combination of part-time, earned income, in addition to unearned, womb-productivity income for sex and reproduction.

It is undermining American society in many ways, not just this much-publicized epidemic.

Most people cannot afford to abuse any substance and don’t, but some people have unearned income streams, including Obamacare. It seems like opioid abuse has gone up since that socialism-for-some program was instituted. Maybe, more people are gaining entry to these drugs because of increased access to healthcare, while 27 million Americans are uninisued, with many paying a penalty for being uninsured.

Then there is the curious issue of automation and cost.

Since drugs are being pumped out robotically without the labor expense of previous pharmaceutical production, it begs the question: Why are drugs for simple ailments, like poison ivy, so high? The cost of medication should go way, way down in alignement with a reduction in human labor expense.

It hasn’t.

After I closed my shop, I got a job in a fancy furniture store, selling the finest brands in the country. My take-home pay was $1,400 per month. The health insurance had not kicked in when I got poison ivy, so I had to use my ridiculously expensive private-market policy with high rates, even though I was a healthy, slender nonsmoker.

The rates were high because I was grouped with women using untra-expensive maternity coverage, and if I had not still been married with a second income, I would not have taken advantage of the group-rated policy.

I could not afford it. Single, childless women have to cover all bills on one stream of earned-only income. I had already paid my monthly premium. The doctor visit cost me $200, and the drugs to treat poison ivy cost $300.

My take-home pay — $1,400

Rent — $750

Poison Ivy treatment (doctor visit and drugs) — $500

For a single, childless woman with no pay-per-birth welfare, covering rent and groceries, and a tax return of $300 or less, rather than a child tax credit of up to $6,269 for working part time as a mom, that left me with $150 remaining from my monthly take-home pay to cover all of these bills:

a car note
state-required auto insurance
a phone bill

Oh, but wait, I do not even have $150 of my pay left over to cover all of those bills because of a health insurance premium that did not cover one penny of a $200 doctor visit and $300 worth of drugs to treat a simple case of poison ivy.

Health insurance is a scam.

It is one of the many scams in America, and I say that as a person with four insurance licenses, including a health license, that have been as useless as my bachelor’s degree. Low-wage insurance jobs are often staffed almost entirely with unlicensed mommas whose low wages are boosted up by unearned income from welfare and child tax credits, spouses or ex spouses.

In reply to by helloimjohnnycat

neversink Welder Sun, 10/29/2017 - 02:33 Permalink

There is something wrong about being a racist. You don't have to be a racist to dislike the globalists. They are as racist as you are. Putting in hate speech laws that they only enforce if the speech talks about Islam - even if it is true. That is racism as it favors Islam over others. Globalists in Europe are racists becasue they sacrifice their women to mass rapes committed by Muslim migrants. One does not have to be racist to understand the evils of the world. And racism, even if it is veiled in politically corrct bullshit rhetoric, is one of those evils. You would be surprised how many people in sub-Saharan Africa support Trump.

In reply to by Welder

Killdo helloimjohnnycat Sat, 10/28/2017 - 21:15 Permalink

I forwarded this article to a friend from Oxford who studied with one of the heiresses of this Bad Pharma Empire. He said she was a very nice, generous girl - I bet she has no clue about what her family really does. Which reminds me when Snowden's NSA leaks were revealed for the first time - I was pissed off and spoke to a friend whose father wrote The Civli Rights Act - he was the Authorney General I think for Kennedy. My friend (his son) was so scared - he warned me not to write about it and not to post anything on FB about it.I thought his father would be spinning in his grave to hear what kind of a pussy his son turned out to be...As you can see apples can fall far away from the tree. 

In reply to by helloimjohnnycat

MikeStaff TBT or not TBT Sat, 10/28/2017 - 19:05 Permalink

LIving in the midst of the opioid epidemic and personally effected by it in numerous ways I can say that the synthetic opiates were prescribed in mass just like any other product. Then when it reached its peak the state governments sent doctors and user to jail shutting down the pill mills. The people were already hooked and moved to heroin, which gave them their fix and was easily available on the street. The two go hand in hand. Same fiend. Same outcome.

In reply to by TBT or not TBT

Ol' Painless Milton Keynes Sun, 10/29/2017 - 01:19 Permalink

Nor should it be overlooked which Mexican cartel the heroin was being run through and into the U.S. Curiously, the same cartel that was benefitting from a little "fast and furious" gun running operation by a U.S. AG....also the same cartel was using a hedge fund in Panama to launder their heroin proceeds...that hedge fund went by the name of Bain Capital. Hmm, I wonder who "once upon a time" was involved with Bain Capital...of yes, that's right, a former U.S. presidential candidate. All just a coincidence I suppose...now, pull .gov's finger as they've a lot of gas building up from all the resulting bloating bodies piling up.

In reply to by Milton Keynes

Normally Aspirated MikeStaff Sat, 10/28/2017 - 23:55 Permalink

Opioids can be dangerous no doubt but they're also fuckin effective for real pain. Probably the most effective Humans know about.IMO (and I've been thru the Pharma treadmill) some of the worst drugs are not opioids... they are the anti depressants and other drugs that seem to work for the affliction even though the medical fraternity don't understand why?For instance, there is a drug initially called Gabba Pentin that was and is being farmed out to chronic pain sufferers. The new version of gabba pentin is called Lyrica. (Nice Name) Lyrica has so many side effects they need a special long piece of paper to print all of them up on one sheet. Lyrica is being farmed out to anyone who has a pain problem and it is VERY dangerous long term.The 1st side effect and most common side effect is suicide or thoughts of suicide. The next few hundred side effects come in after that. If you have never had a chronic pain problem don't be too quick to judge. It overtakes all of your life eventually and, will destroy you or your closest family. Few survive. Big Pharma wants to control humanities answer to being ill and they just happen to expect to make billions of dollars while doing it.

In reply to by MikeStaff

Elvis is Alive MikeStaff Sun, 10/29/2017 - 11:03 Permalink

Mike, you are totally right, and the CDC is denying the heroin-pain pill connecton because even though pain pill prescriptions are down 20% in the last five years counted, deaths from opioids are up 50%. What the government loves to do, point fingers at drug companies and then patients and doctors, is not working. Portugal had only 15 overdose deaths last year because they actually looked at fixing the problem. And in reality, while the pills cause addiction and expense, they kill very few people, way less than the government is saying. If you use the triad of pupillary constriction, lowered respiratory rate, and altered mental status, you probably would have less than 1000 deaths from pills nationwide.I joked that if someone took a pain pill and got shot in the head, the medical examiners would check and see if they could label it an overdose, and it turned out to be true. One study compared pain pill levels in people who were shot or stabbed with people who were labeled overdoses, and the drug levels overlapped in the two groups... but why are medical examiners doing drug levels on people shot in the head? The federal government/CDC/DEA has been putting heat on MEs to raise the number of overdose deaths so they can gain power, and it has worked. What most people don't get is that overdose deaths are labeled such after bodies are cremated or in the ground. The bodies are not there then such that the MEs findings can be challenged and patient families rarely have standing, funding, or incentive to sue the MEs. So stories like this one distract from the real death problem: getting people off pills and on heroin which is killing people. If I were dealing heroin, every story hurting drug companies and doctors or pharmacies benefits me, and I want them to keep coming. That begs the question: And who benefits the most from the sale of heroin? If you follow the money, the answer is obvious. 

In reply to by MikeStaff

Withdrawn Sanction TBT or not TBT Sun, 10/29/2017 - 07:16 Permalink

"I missed the part where the Sacklers were profiting from heroin ..."It's called "gateway."  Just like the Baltimoron they interviewed, the addiction starts typically w/a legal opioid.  Then the patient is cut off, forcing them into the underground economy.  It's really not that difficult to see the connection.  Now consider the question of where the legal Rx peddlers get their key ingredients.  Where DO the opiate derivatives that in Oxy and the others come from?  Although each pill is small, when multiplied by millions (300 milllion scrips x 10 to 30 pills per Rx), there has to be a steady supply of main ingredients.  And isn't it curious that the accelration in this problem correlates with US involvement in Asia Minor (Afghanistan, Pakistan...).  It takes a few years from such a problem to gain a head of steam, but once it does, boy, it's off to the exponential races.   

In reply to by TBT or not TBT

bruno_the Gorgeous Sat, 10/28/2017 - 15:40 Permalink

You never know. Robert De Niro on Vaccines: 'Harvey Weinstein and I Are Working on Doing a Documentary'Last month the 15th annual Tribeca Film Festival kicked off to much success, yet controversy sparked when the anti-vaccine documentary “Vaxxed” was in the screening lineup. The film was eventually pulled from the schedule after a handful of filmmakers threatened to pull their films out if it was screened. http://www.indiewire.com/2016/05/robert-de-niro-on-vaccines-harvey-weinstein-and-i-are-working-on-doing-a-documentary-289059/

In reply to by Gorgeous