Finance

The family behind OxyContin pocketed $10.7 billion from Purdue Pharma. Meet the Sacklers, who built their $13 billion fortune off the controversial opioid.

But that payout pales in comparison to the $10.7 billion the family moved from Purdue Pharma to a worldwide network of trusts and holding companies between 2008 and 2017, according to an audit commissioned by Purdue.

purdue pharma

A protest outside Purdue Pharma’s headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.
AP Photo

The value of the transfers increased dramatically after Purdue came under scrutiny for its marketing tactics, according to the report. The Sacklers disbursed $1.32 billion from Purdue between 1995 and 2007, which was considered OxyContin’s heyday.

The money transfers were an apparent attempt to shield the money from lawsuits, The New York Times’ Jan Hoffman and Danny Hakim reported.

“These distribution numbers were known at the time the proposed settlement was agreed to by two dozen attorneys general and thousands of local governments,” the family’s attorney, Daniel S. Connolly, said in a statement to Business Insider. “They have been public for months, and this filing reflects the fact that more than half was paid in taxes and reinvested in businesses that will be sold as part of the proposed settlement. The Sackler family hopes to reach a productive resolution where they contribute Purdue for the public benefit and provide at least $3 billion of additional money to help communities and people who need help now, which makes more sense for everyone than continuing litigation that only squander resources.”

In a lengthy statement about the report provided to Business Insider, a representative of Purdue Pharma said the company spent months compiling the report as a part of a larger effort to increase transparency. “Purdue is providing this exceedingly rare level of transparency to help ensure that all claimants, including attorneys general and the communities they represent, can support the settlement structure that would transfer more than $10 billion of value to the American public to address the opioid epidemic and save lives,” the statement reads, in part.

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