House Dems, GOP Agree: Sacklers, Purdue Pharma 'Sickening'

December 17, 2020
In The News

The Sackler family, which owns opioid drugmaker Purdue Pharma, "placed insatiable taste of personal wealth over lives of families they have destroyed," Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said Thursday. Purdue Pharma "launched an incredibly destructive, reckless campaign to flood our communities" with OxyContin, the company's extended-release oxycodone product, she said during a hearing on the role of the Sackler family and the company in the opioid epidemic.... Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) asked Sackler about the "patient saving cards" that he said were "supposedly intended to expand access to OxyContin" but "were consistently tracked and evaluated because Purdue knew these cards were a powerful way to keep patients on opioids longer. Is that right?" "My understanding was the patient saving cards were designed to help people afford their medication," Sackler replied. Sarbanes called that "a perfect answer, because it represents the way in which the narrative you put together -- everything that was in fact designed to take advantage of people and exploit their weakness was presented by Sackler and Purdue as trying to help those patients ... This is why thousands of people across the country became addicted, because of the rosy story and narrative that you painted."