Excerpted from Quartz
Richard Sackler, whose family owns Purdue Pharma—makers of the notorious painkiller OxyContin—is part of a team that has been granted a patent aimed at helping to battle the opioid epidemic the company has been accused of helping create.
The Financial Times reported that the patent was granted in January for a new form of buprenorphine, a mild opiate designed to control drug cravings and help addicts wean off stronger opioids. Sackler was listed as one of six inventors. The new formulation comes in the shape of a wafer that can be quickly dissolved beneath the tongue.
The patent, which application acknowledges the extent of the opioid crisis, makes no mention of Purdue Pharma’s connection to the epidemic. The privately held company has been sued more than a thousand times for purportedly fueling the opioid crisis, now so pervasive that one in five Americans know someone who is addicted. (Purdue Pharma has denied allegations from the Massachusetts attorney general that it had “a deadly, deceptive scheme to sell opioids.”)