The Sacklers – the billionaire family who owns Purdue Pharma – will receive immunity from the government for their role in igniting America’s Opioid Crisis. The immunity was part of a deal approved by a federal court on Tuesday.
The U.S. Court of Appeals Second Circuit’s decision paved the road to finally putting an ending to the Sackler Family saga. The Sacklers have agreed to pay $6 billion of their own personal fortune in exchange for immunity against civil lawsuits. Purdue’s bankruptcy case will be finalized by the settlement, which has been in limbo since 2019, according to Huffington Post.
It’s not an astronomical amount. This is a small fraction of the damage this family has caused.
Purdue began its “highly aggressive marketing campaign” in 1996, which convinced doctors to prescribe OxyContin for non-terminal patients who would otherwise not have been prescribed addictive opiates.
Hearings in the House Oversight and Reform Committee revealed how and why Purdue was instructed by the family to “target” “high-volume prescribing physicians,” ignore “safeguards against opiate addiction,” and “deflect” blame away from them onto those who suffer from addiction.
Purdue Pharma created misleading advertising documents in order to show doctors and patients that OxyContin time-release was less addictive than immediate release alternatives. They also encouraged doctors to prescribe OxyContin, as it was safer, by identifying those who are more likely to prescribe opioids. OxyContin became a money-maker for the company,” read a press release from the Committee on Oversight and Accountability.
OxyContin has generated $35 billion for the company in the last 20 years. It is not surprising that the number of opioid overdoses increased by 850% from 1999 to 2020, or over half a milllion people. The opioid epidemic that began with the Sacklers has now become worse than ever.
Forbes estimates that the Sacklers’ net worth is $14 billion, and they will only pay out half of it. The Sacklers’ $1 billion portfolio of real estate and their extensive art collection suggests that the family may have assets well beyond this estimate.
The settlement will likely see half of the $6 billion go to plaintiffs’ attorneys. This will further enrich predatory elite Americans. (RELATED : American Cartel : Nonprofits Accepted Millions in ‘Blood Money” From Opioid Profiteers).
Huffington Post reports that the settlement of $6 billion will only provide 750 million dollars to the plaintiffs. If you divide that up, it comes to anywhere between $3,500 and $488,000 per plaintiff.
That’s it. Here’s $3500 for Mom, even though she’s gone.
But it’s not just about the money. The damage done by the Sacklers to the American way of life and spirit cannot be measured in monetary terms.
Americans are proud of their pursuit of the human potential. This spirit of adventure is what brought us to the West in search of a new life. This spirit of adventure is what created the railroads and skyscrapers. It also fueled the quest for scientific discoveries, as well as the most powerful economic system the world has ever seen.
We built communities that are conducive to human flourishing. These feats would not have been possible without the social cohesion that is built by community support systems. Americans were proud to be actively involved in their community, creating a sense collective responsibility towards our neighbors. This helped us endure through the toughest of adversities.
The opioid crisis has largely contributed to the decline of this ethos, which was prevalent for generations in America. The vicious cycle of addiction is the new constant in modern society.
Addicts often have difficulty maintaining a stable job, which leads to financial instabilities. Often, this decline in socioeconomic standing is accompanied by an increase in financial dependency. As a consequence, communities that were once wealthy have fallen into poverty.
Families were broken and trust was eroded as opioid addiction ravaged communities. It caused social isolation during the COVID epidemic, when people withdrew away from their families and community. The breakdown of cohesion that has resulted in the loss of the American tradition of neighborliness – the sense of responsibility shared by all – was undermined.
Addiction’s “intergenerational persistency” ensures that the cycle continues and decimates the American way-of-life built on hardwork, resilience, and prosperity for future generations.
The Sacklers are likely to continue being regarded as a high-ranking family in elite society. As part of the settlement, the Sacklers’ names will be removed from buildings. However, the sins they committed will soon fade away as the news cycle moves on. The will be invited to charity galas and red carpet events. They will be able to reappear as wealthy benefactors on the walls of new art and medical exhibits and will have their names engraved in new medical facilities.
It is not surprising that American politics has been turned upside down, and that institutional confidence is at a record low. The Sacklers have played a major role in the current state of America.