The Sacklers have been added to the Forbes list of America’s wealthiest families. The family owns Purdue Pharma, makers of the highly-addictive painkiller Oxycontin, reported AllGov.com.
In the mid-1990s, brothers Raymond and Mortimer Sackler introduced Oxycontin to the public pharmaceutical market, selling $35 billion worth of the drug since. They are the 16th wealthiest family in America, worth $14 billion. The Sacklers likely don’t care who’s getting hooked on Oxycontin as long as they’re getting paid.
Oxycontin has existed since the early-1900s, but it was only available to cancer patients until the Sacklers devised a way to make it more marketable to different kinds of patients. The company developed a time-release formula that would carry on the drug’s effects steadily over time in the body. People still became addicted.
AlterNet reported that opiate prescriptions increased four-fold from 1999 to 2010. Since Oxycontin has been on the market, the rate of prescription drug overdoses has skyrocketed. In 2013, there were 44,000 drug overdoses in America, half of which were from prescription drugs. Seventy-two percent of those overdoses were from opiates, like Oxycontin.
Companies like Purdue Pharma are responsible for the thousands of people who lose their lives on drugs. What’s worse, these companies just perpetuate America’s fruitless drug war. People either die or get arrested and thrown in jail in this drug war, all for the pursuit of profits.