Sarbanes Slams Sackler Family for Making Billions of Dollars While Knowingly Addicting Millions of Americans to Deadly Opioids [Video]

“The Sacklers – Not Just Purdue – The Sacklers Need to Be Held Accountable”
December 17, 2020
CONTACT: Daniel Jacobs
(202) 225-4016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing today, Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) directly criticized members of the Sackler family, who own Purdue Pharma, for aggressively marketing highly addictive and deadly opioids to millions of Americans.

“This notion – and we’ve heard it today from the family – that … ‘We were just following the management recommendations,” is a little bit absurd,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “Because the family had control over the operations. They knew exactly what was happening. And they were hoping to push this agenda [that] ended up broadening the addiction crisis across the country.”

Sarbanes continued: “According to internal documents that were obtained by the [Oversight and Reform] Committee and the Massachusetts Attorney General, the Sacklers, as board members that were ordering the company, hire[d] hundreds more sales reps, directed those reps to target the highest prescribers of OxyContin and push the highest-strength dosage of OxyContin, approved misleading marketing materials that downplayed the risk of the addiction [and] rewarded employees for selling more drugs.”

Sarbanes added: “You knew what was happening. You knew what was going on. This was designed to pull as much money out of the company as you possibly could before these penalties and lawsuits and other actions were going to come at you.”

Sarbanes concluded: “The Sacklers – not just Purdue – the Sacklers need to be held accountable. Before 2007, I think it’s fair to say that, at best, the family was morally blind in its actions and conduct. After 2007, the family became morally bankrupt – not financially bankrupt, you’re doing very well, you're rich. And that’s obscene when you look at the situation of these families, this wasteland across the country that's been caused by what the [Sackler] family did. I hope that there will be some repercussions, some consequence, for the [Sackler] family for its conduct.”

See below for the Congressman’s full remarks.