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Nov-13-2015 00:08printcomments

Sackler Family, Owners of the Maker of OxyContin make List of America's Richest

Unimaginable wealth funds a pain foundation, which is under investigation.

Raymond and Beverly Sackler
Raymond and Beverly Sackler.

(MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) - As families throughout the U.S. are losing their children to addiction and death because of the criminal lies in the marketing of OxyContin, the Sackler family lives a life style most people could only imagine.

Forbes Magazine recently listed America's richest families and the owners of Purdue Pharma, maker of the highly addictive opioid, OxyContin made the list at a whopping $14 billion net worth.

Purdue Pharma is a privately held pharmaceutical company with 100% ownership by the Sacklers. Since the launch of the highly controversial opioid, OxyContin in the late 1990's sales have benefited the Sackler family to the tune of $35 billion.

The Sacklers are famous throughout the world as philanthropists with huge contributions to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, the Smithsonian (including the Holocaust museum) as well as universities, including Harvard, Oxford, Columbia,Tufts, NYU and the University of Edinburgh).

Philanthropy is noble, but is confusing as regards the Sacklers. On one hand, we have the Sacklers with unimaginable wealth funding a pain foundation, the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM). AAPM is under U.S. Senate investigation for their possible involvement in encouraging the push of prescription opioids to the medical profession. And, on the other hand the Sacklers are simultaneously funding an organization Partnership for a Drug Free Kids (Partnership) to assist parents dealing with addiction in their homes.

Did anyone ever stop to think that if the Sacklers did not provide funding for one, there would be no need to fund the other? AAPM advocates for the pain patient and the "stigma" of chronic pain going untreated by the medical profession and Partnership advocates for parents dealing with the "stigma" of addiction in their family.

The American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) is currently under a long winded U.S. Senate investigation launched in 2012.

In 2005, the AAPM's president was Scott M. Fishman, MD, author of a book entitled "Responsible Opioid Prescribing - A Physician's Guide" made required reading and a guide to be used by the medical profession in all 50 states. Dr. Fishman's book is also under the slow moving U.S. Senate investigation.

Here is a link to the history of the U.S. Senate investigation launched in response to the prescription opioid epidemic in the country.

Partnership offers help to parents who are coping with their children's addiction to prescription opioids such as OxyContin (also known as heroin in a pill), as well as heroin.

They provide advice on listening and talking skills for parents to use in addressing the epidemic of prescription opioid/heroin in every town in the country.

It's confusing I realize that the Sacklers are multi-billionaires pushing prescription opioids through their generous donations to the American Academy of Pain Medicine and simultaneously making generous donations to Partnership for a Drug Free Kids to educate and provide assistance to parents coping with this horrific epidemic.

Why though is this epidemic of prescription opioid/heroin use worsening by the day? How about this for a solution?

Since the Sackler family has attained the American dream in becoming multi-billionaires 14 times over, why don't families consider having the Sacklers build state of the art medical facilities throughout the country to treat the disease of addiction?

Education and Naloxone to reverse the effects of a drug overdose are a step in the right direction, but this Holocaust caused by the criminal marketing of OxyContin under the Sackler's watch is burning out of control for a reason.

Could that reason be -- where is the best medical care for family members -- our kids -- for addiction? It's in the pockets of the Sackler family -- all $14 billion of it.

Let's give Partnership for a Drug Free Kids the opportunity to bring the statistics of death and addiction down by having them partner with the Sacklers and their $14 billion to provide the best in-patient medical treatment for the disease of addiction.

The telephone number for Purdue Pharma is 203-588-8000 or 203-588-8069.

If you feel strongly that our kids deserve the best medical treatment the Sacklers can provide them, please make that call. You might even want to suggest that a medical facility be named for your child lost to OxyContin or heroin.


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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.