The Sackler Trust said it would suspend new charitable donations in the United Kingdom, a move that comes amid backlash for its reported link to the U.S. opioid crisis, the BBC reported.

The decision comes after the United Kingdom’s National Portrait Gallery and The Sackler Trust agreed last week not to move forward with a $1.3 million gift from the multibillionaire family.


The Sackler family, which runs the trust, owns OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma, headquartered in Stamford, Conn.

In a statement to the BBC, Dame Theresa Sackler, chair of The Sackler Trust, said she rejected the notion that the family is tied to America’s opioid crisis.

"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,” she said in a statement, adding that the trust decided to “temporarily pause all new philanthropic giving, while still honouring existing commitments."

A lawsuit filed in Massachusetts this year alleged that members of the Sackler family directly profited from harm caused by opioids produced by Purdue Pharma.

The Sackler Trust did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

BBC reported that the Sackler family, through various philanthropic causes, are well known for their generosity in donating to art galleries, museums and universities.

The Guggenheim Museum in New York City said recently it would no longer accept charitable gifts from the family, according to the BBC.