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Jonathan Sackler, co-owner of Purdue Pharma, dies from cancer

Published on 07/07/20 at 10:22am
Photo by John9474 - Eigenes Werk

Jonathan Sackler, son of Purdue Pharma founder Raymond Sackler, died on 30 June from cancer, according to the company. He was 65.

Jonathan served as an executive board member for Purdue but had recently stepped down, while retaining his ownership of the company. He had also been Vice President in the past, but was not as involved as his brother Richard who was Chief Executive.

Multiple lawsuits named Jonathan as a defendant where the prosecution accused the Sackler family of marketing OxyContin, an opioid painkiller, in ways that misled patients with how addictive it could be.

Purdue Pharma has played a key role in the widespread opioid epidemic. They filed for bankruptcy back in September, as part of a deal to settle thousands of lawsuits alleging the company misled doctors and the public as it promoted opioids like OxyContin. An exposed 1997 email chain shows Dr Richard Sackler knew about the potential abuse of opioids by its clients.

Purdue has also agreed to provide more than $10 billion to address the opioid crisis, with the Sackler family personally promising to contribute a minimum of $3 billion. It has also converted itself in to a public beneficiary trust.

Conor Kavanagh

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