Americans are frustrated by the amount of power our nation’s corporations hold over our government, our environment, and, frankly, our day-to-day lives. It seems that a day doesn’t go by in which we hear yet another tale of a corporation taking measures to improve its bottom line by putting its profits over the well-being of the people.
In most cases, as if cut straight from some sort of futuristic dystopian thriller, these corporations are just faceless entities. They are known only by their names: Monsanto, McKesson, Johnson & Johnson, GSK. Were the average citizen asked about the leadership of any of the corporations who wield such power over their lives, they would be hard pressed to produce an answer.
But thanks to proceedings taking place in Massachusetts, the veil is being lifted on one such corporation and exposing one of America’s wealthiest families for who they are and what they have been willing to do to expand that wealth. In fact, as the proceedings continue, it may well be that a name will emerge as the very face of the opioid crisis that is ripping apart American families and communities.
That name is Sackler.
While most everyone in America is familiar with the drug called OxyContin and there might even be some who are aware of Purdue Pharma; the company that makes the powerful opioid, few are familiar with the family that owns and runs Purdue and their absolutely relentless pursuit of profit. But, a recent ruling by Suffolk County Superior Court Judge Janet Sanders has changed that.
In her ruling, Judge Sanders has ordered the removal of redactions in a lawsuit that protected information pertinent to the methods and tactics the Sacklers used to relentlessly push their opioids onto America’s doctors and pharmacies and into our communities. Purdue’s response was instantaneous – they will plan to ask for a stay in the case while an appeal is made seeking to overturn the judge’s order and keep those facts hidden.
In the meantime, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey; the AG who brought the lawsuit on behalf of the people of Massachusetts, is pleased. “For many years,” she said in a statement to CNN, “Purdue, its executives, and members of the Sackler family have tried to shift the blame and hide their role in creating the opioid epidemic. We are grateful to the court for lifting the impoundment on our complaint so that the public and families so deeply impacted by this crisis can see the allegations of the misconduct that has harmed so many.”