Sackler family to testify to Congress on Purdue Pharma, opioids

Sackler family to testify to Congress on Purdue Pharma, opioids
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Members of Purdue Pharma’s Sackler family will testify before Congress on the company’s role in the opioid epidemic.

Their testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Thursday will mark the first time in years that members of the family have been publicly questioned under oath on the company’s role in the opioid epidemic, which has killed nearly half a million people since 2000. 

Rep. Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn MaloneyHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — EU calls out Russian hacking efforts aimed at member states House lawmakers ask Cyber Ninjas CEO to testify on Arizona audit House Oversight demands answers on CBP's treatment of Haitian migrants MORE (D-N.Y.), chairwoman of the committee, said documents show members of the Sackler family used the OxyContin business to “stretch” Purdue’s financial targets and increase earnings and pressured executives to grow the market for the opioid.


David Sackler, a former member of the company’s board of directors from 2012 and 2018, and Kathe Sackler, who served on the board from 1990 to 2018, will testify. Craig Landau, president and CEO of Purdue Pharma, will also testify. 

Purdue began selling OxyContin in 1996, misleadingly telling doctors that it has a low incidence of addiction. 

The company pleaded guilty in 2007 to misleading the public about the risk of OxyContin, but sales of the drug continued.

Purdue and other drugmakers, distributors and pharmacy chains have been sued by 3,000 state and local governments over their roles in the opioid crisis. 

Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty last month to criminal charges that it misled the federal government, reaching an $8.3 billion settlement with the Department of Justice.

Purdue will likely be reorganized into a public benefit corporation, with profits from future opioid sales funding programs that address the opioid crisis.