In Newly Released Deposition, OxyContin Owner Defends Response to Reports of Abuse

Summary and Analysis

Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, owned by the billionaire Sackler family, now has one of it's former Presidents, Richard Sackler, in legal hot water. During his deposition given in March 2019, it became clear that the family made billions of dollars in profit without giving due care or concern for the effects that were created on patients prescribed OxyContin or those that became addicts because of it.


Excerpted from The Wall Street Journal

Richard Sackler, an owner of OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP, received an email from a friend in 2002 detailing what the friend called some “items of interest.”

The friend, an anesthesiologist, mentioned that his local pharmacy had spent $12,000 on remodeling to increase security because of OxyContin, the powerful opioid painkiller. The friend recounted that he had recently spoken to a student at an exclusive private high school who said someone had tried to sell her the “designer drug” OxyContin in the campus halls.

“I hate to say this, but you could become the Pablo Escobar of the new millennium,” the friend wrote, referring to the Colombian drug lord.

The email is included in a deposition of Dr. Sackler taken this year as part of litigation brought by states and local municipalities seeking to hold Purdue accountable for the opioid crisis. Parts of the 460-page document, recently made public and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, have been redacted.