Big pharma halts charitable donations as lawsuits increase

Pharma

Donations made on the back of the opioid crisis 

25th March 2019 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

All charitable donations have been halted by a trust linked to America’s opioid crisis.

The Sackler Trust is funded by Purdue Pharma, a company selling the prescription painkiller OxyContin.

Alongside Fentanyl, Oxycontin is one of America’s most mis-used opiates.

The Sackler family, who run the trust, is facing hundreds of lawsuits and in response announced the suspension of its charitable giving.

Sackler Trust chairwoman Dame Theresa Sackler said in a statement issued on behalf of the trustees: “I am deeply saddened by the addiction crisis in America and support the actions Purdue Pharma is taking to help tackle the situation, whilst still rejecting the false allegations made against the company and several members of the Sackler family.”

Sackler drugs make up 68% of the oxycodone market in England, and 29% of the value of the entire £263 million opioid market, according to NHS Digital.

More than £60 million from the trust has supported medical science, healthcare, education and the arts in the UK.

Cases allege that the company sold OxyContin as a drug with a low chance of triggering addictions, despite knowing this to be not true.

According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2017 opioids were involved in nearly 48,000 deaths.

Purdue, which denies wrongdoing, has said that its products were approved by federal regulators and prescribed by doctors.