Colleges received at least $60 million from OxyContin family

Oct 6, 2019 by

At least nine schools accepted gifts in 2018 or later, when states and counties began efforts to hold the Sackler family accountable for Purdue Pharma’s actions.

Prestigious universities around the world have accepted at least $60 million over the past five years from the family that owns the maker of OxyContin, even as the company became embroiled in lawsuits related to the opioid epidemic, financial records show.

Some of the donations arrived before recent lawsuits blaming Purdue Pharma for its role in the opioid crisis. But at least nine schools accepted gifts in 2018 or later, when states and counties across the country began efforts to hold members of the family accountable for Purdue’s actions. The largest gifts in that span went to Imperial College London, the University of Sussex and Yale University.

Major beneficiaries of Sackler family foundations also included the University of Oxford in England and Rockefeller, Cornell and Columbia universities in New York, according to tax and charity records reviewed by the Associated Press.

In total, at least two dozen universities have received gifts from the family since 2013, ranging from $25,000 to more than $10 million, the records show.

Some skeptics see the donations as an attempt to salvage the family’s reputation.

“Money from the Sacklers should be understood as blood money,” said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, a leading critic of Purdue and the Sacklers who heads a program on opioid policy at Brandeis University, which was not among the schools identified in tax records as having received donations from the Sacklers. “Universities shouldn’t take it, and universities that have taken it should give it back.”

Source: Colleges received at least $60 million from OxyContin family – Los Angeles Times

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