In order to avoid addressing the huge donations received by world-renowned museums and other organizations from a billionaire family that earned its fortune from the opioid epidemic, the institutions recently declined interviews and ejected reporters from their premises.
The Sackler family, private owners of Purdue Pharma, the drug manufacturer that created OxyContin, have donated millions to iconic New York tourist attractions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Opera. Many attractions that received hefty donations honor the Sacklers with plaques on their premises or with entire wings built in their name.
Beneficiaries of the Sacklers’ generosity also include the Dia Art Foundation, which has received $20 million in donations, and the Central Park Conservancy, which has received $1 million.
Representatives of the institutions and organizations who have received donations from the Sacklers have refused to address the topic of contributions from the family, and actively escorted reporters from The Daily Caller News Foundation from their properties.
The Sacklers have become one of America’s richest families by producing a OxyContin, which is widely blamed for its role in initiating the opioid epidemic. After being accused of deceiving doctors about the addictive qualities of the painkiller, Purdue Pharma and three of its top executives entered guilty pleas.
According to The Daily Caller, “Purdue led an effort that encouraged doctors to prescribe painkillers to non-terminal patients in the 1990s. The company produced propaganda that taught the medical community about opioid painkillers and downplayed the risk for abuse. Critics say the emphasis Purdue put on treating pain through opioids primed the system that eventually devolved into the current epidemic of addiction.”
Forbes reported that between 1995 and 2015, OxyContin sales totaled $35 billion, bringing the net worth of the Sacklers to $14 billion.
An investigation by The Daily Caller News Foundation revealed that the Sacklers have never publicly donated to an addiction rehabilitation center, although they have made massive contributions to the arts, humanities and sciences.