Opiate Connected Family and the Lucrative Ski Resort Acquisition, the Irony of Painkillers and Ski Resorts

A sign with the Sackler name is displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

OxyContin’s Sackler Family Will Get Millions From A Ski Resort Operator’s Sale

Vail Resorts, a publicly traded operator of ski resorts, announced on Monday it would acquire Peak Resorts for $11 per share, all cash, which is more than double its $5.10 per share closing price, one day prior to the announcement. Peak Resorts operates 17 ski resorts, mostly in the Northeast and Midwest, including Alpine Valley in Ohio and Hunter Mountain in upstate New York.

One major beneficiary of the acquisition: the Sacklers, the family behind Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of pain drug OxyContin. According to Peak Resorts’ latest annual proxy from October 2018, its largest shareholder is CAP 1 LLC, a company wholly owned by Sackler brothers Richard and Jonathan. The Sacklers’ nearly 40% ownership stake, which includes preferred stock and stock warrants, is worth about  $87 million based on the transaction. Some of the shares are owned by the charitable Sackler Foundation. The Sacklers became investors in Peak Resorts as early as August 2015.

Richard is the former chairman and president of Purdue Pharma. His brother, Jonathan, is a former board member. Nearly every state has filed lawsuits against Purdue Pharma and its owners, including eight Sackler family members, alleging the company caused a nationwide public health crisis around opioid addiction and opioid overdose deaths. One lawsuit alleges that Purdue Pharma had brought in more than $35 billion in revenues since 1995.

The Sacklers, worth an estimated $13 billion based largely on the value of Purdue Pharma, built their fortune primarily through sales of OxyContin, a highly addictive painkiller that has been called by the medical establishment one of the root causes for the nationwide opioid addiction epidemic. Purdue Pharma owns the patent for OxyContin, and is the only manufacturer of the drug. According to Symphony Health Solutions, a healthcare and pharmaceutical data analytics company, roughly 80% of Purdue Pharma’s sales come from OxyContin. Due to the widespread rise in use of prescription and nonprescription opioids, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency in 2017.

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Only When Beneficiaries Take a Stand Against Dark Money Will Decency be Touted over Wealth, the Louvre

Louvre, Paris

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Louvre removes Sackler family from museum walls

France’s Louvre Museum has erased the Sackler name from its walls, removing any physical trace of its ties to the billionaire family that owns opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma.

The art philanthropist family’s name was quietly removed from a wing dedicated to eastern antiquities over the last few weeks, The New York Times reported.

The wing has been known as the Sackler Wing of Oriental Antiquities since 1997.

A plaque honouring the family’s donations to the museum was also removed from the gallery’s entrance and any mentions of the “Sackler Wing” on the museum’s website have also been deleted.

A representative of the museum said the Sackler’s name was erased because it had exceeded a time limit.

“On 10 October, 2003, the museum board decided to limit the duration period named room to 20 years. [The Sackler] donation is more than 20 years old, the name-period is therefore legally closed and these rooms no longer carry the Sackler name,” the statement said.

The removal follows major museums in Europe and New York announcing they will no longer accept donations from the family.

The family behind Purdue Pharma has been the subject of multiple lawsuits from different states in the US for its alleged role in the country’s opioid epidemic. The transatlantic family are decedents of three Sackler brothers—Raymond, Arthur and Mortimer—who turned their small pharmaceutical firm into a family-controlled enterprise, which eventually became the $3 billion revenue-making Purdue Pharma. The company introduced OxyContin in 1996.

Your Money is No Good Here! Disassociating a Name – Sackler and the Louvre

 

Louvre Removes Sackler Family Name From Its Walls

Protesters from the activist group PAIN in front of the Louvre on July 1. Members of the Sackler family own the company that makes the opioid OxyContin.

The Louvre in Paris has removed the name of the Sackler family from its walls, becoming the first major museum to erase its public association with the philanthropist family linked with the opioid crisis in the United States.

The Louvre’s collection of Persian and Levantine artifacts is housed in a wing that has been known as the Sackler Wing of Oriental Antiquities since 1997.

But on Wednesday, a plaque acknowledging the Sacklers’ donations had been removed from the gallery’s entrance, and references to “the Sackler Wing” on other signs in the museum had been covered with gray tape.

Members of the Sackler family own Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, an enormously profitable and frequently abused painkiller that is the subject of numerous lawsuits in the United States.

In March, Britain’s National Portrait Gallery turned down a $1.3 million donation from a charitable arm of the family. That prompted a host of cultural institutions across Europe and the United States, including the Tate group of museums in Britain and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, to announce that they would not accept further donations from the family. The Sackler Trust and the Dr. Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation, two foundations based in Britain, suspended further philanthropy.

But many museums also said they would respect past philanthropy and would not be changing the name of any wing or gallery named after the family.

Sophie Aguirre, 50, a guard at the Louvre, said on Wednesday that the plaque at the wing was taken down on either July 8 or 9, when the wing was closed to visitors.

Nine other signs in the building that referenced the wing had been taped over. Ms. Aguirre said another large sign that acknowledged the Sackler donation had also been removed.References to “the Sackler Wing” have also been removed from the Louvre’s website.

On Tuesday, Jean-Luc Martinez, the museum’s president, told RTL, a French radio station, that the Sackler name had been taken down because the Louvre’s policy on naming rights is that they last for 20 years.

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The Sackler Family, The Opiod Crisis, Lawsuits and Who They Are… JTA

sackler

Who are the Sacklers, the family at the center of the opioid crisis?

 

NEW YORK (JTA) — In the 1930s, Mortimer and Raymond Sackler both traveled to Scotland for medical school because, they said, American universities wouldn’t admit them as Jews.

Eighty years later, academic and cultural institutions the world over are deciding whether to reject the Sackler brothers’ children — not because of their religion but because of their actions.

Mortimer and Raymond Sackler are the late patriarchs of a family under fire now for its central role in the opioid addiction crisis, which has led to hundreds of thousands of American deaths. The brothers’ giant pharmaceutical company, Purdue Pharma, is the manufacturer of OxyContin, one of the leading opioids on the market.

Mortimer died in 2010 and Raymond in 2017. Now their widows, along with five of their children and one grandchild, are being sued by three states for allegedly committing a range of fraudulent and deceptive practices in the marketing of OxyContin. Purdue reached a $270 million settlement with the state of Oklahoma in March.

Before becoming notorious for painkillers, the Sacklers were noted for their philanthropy. So a range of museums and schools are grappling with what to do with the wings, schools and chairs named for them. A couple of Jewish institutions, including Tel Aviv University, face that dilemma as well.

(A third Sackler brother, Arthur, died in 1987, when his brothers bought out his shares — nine years before OxyContin was introduced in 1996. Arthur’s family, which has also given philanthropically, has distanced itself from OxyContin.)

The Sackler brothers were born to Jewish immigrants from Poland and Ukraine.

Arthur Sackler, the oldest, was born in 1913 to Jewish immigrant grocers in Brooklyn. Mortimer and Raymond were born, respectively, in 1916 and 1920. The brothers became psychiatrists: Arthur earned his degree at New York University, the others attended medical school in Scotland.

Arthur lived in Manhattan, Mortimer in London and Switzerland, and Raymond in Greenwich, Connecticut.

They turned a small pharmaceutical company into an empire.

In 1952, the brothers bought Purdue-Frederick, a small New York City drug company, which later became Purdue Pharma. At the time it produced laxatives.

But everything changed in 1996 when the company began to market OxyContin, a prescription painkiller. The drug was marketed as safer than alternatives because of its so-called controlled release, which gradually released the drug into the patient’s bloodstream rather than doing so all at once.

According to a 2017 feature on the family in the New Yorker, the Food and Drug Administration said the drug was less prone to addiction than alternatives because of the controlled release. That was despite Purdue declining to do any clinical studies on the drug’s addictiveness, according to the New Yorker.

OxyContin was prescribed broadly for a wide spectrum of pain, and has made the Sacklers America’s 19th richest family with a combined net worth of $13 billion, according to Forbes. As recently as last year, eight Sacklers sat on Purdue’s board.

But recently, as the human toll of the addiction crisis has become evident — in large part, investigators complain, because the dangers of addiction to OxyContin were downplayed or kept hidden — the Sackler name has become synonymous with controversy. Now the number of Sacklers on the board is zero.

Now they are being sued for aggressively and deceptively marketing an addictive drug.

Lawsuits in New YorkMassachusetts and Connecticut charge that the Sacklers dispatched an army of marketers to portray OxyContin as a safe pain treatment despite knowing of its addictive potential.

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Purdue Pharma – “the greed and recklessness” – Accusations Against the WHO by US Lawmakers

U.N. agency is accused of helping Purdue Pharma spread opioid epidemic around the world

Lawmakers say the World Health Organization is helping Purdue wage a “propaganda campaign” about opioids.
Image: Family and friends who have lost loved ones to OxyContin and opioid overdoses leave pill bottles with protest messages on them outside the headquarters of Purdue Pharma
Family and friends who have lost loved ones to OxyContin and opioid overdoses leave pill bottles with protest messages on them outside the headquarters of Purdue Pharma, which is owned by the Sackler family, in Stamford, Connecticut on Aug. 17, 2018.Jessica Hill / AP file

Purdue Pharma gets hit with another OxyContin lawsuit, Pennsylvania

Josh Shapiro

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Pennsylvania’s state attorney general filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing the company that makes OxyContin of fueling the opioid epidemic, making it at least the 39th state to make such a claim against Purdue Pharma.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the lawsuit against Connecticut-based Purdue. Pennsylvania is one of the states hardest hit by addiction to opioids, a class of drugs that includes powerful prescription painkillers such as OxyContin, along with heroin and fentanyl.

Shapiro’s office two years ago joined with dozens of other states to investigate companies that make and distribute opioid painkillers. Like other states that have sued, Pennsylvania’s claims are rooted in company documents handed over in that investigation.

Elsewhere, Purdue lawyers have asserted that states are cherry-picking portions of them to make the company look worse, usually noting that the company accounts for a small portion of opioids prescribed in the U.S. and that heroin and especially illicit fentanyl, not prescription drugs, are what drove up fatal overdose rates in recent years.

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