More drama continues to chase the Sackler family following revelations that suggest the family knew about the dangers of opioids yet pushed them anyway through its company Purdue Pharma.
After protestors made their voices heard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where an area is named after the Sacklers, the action moved just a few streets up Central Park East at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Saturday night because the museum has ties to the family that peddled OxyContin, Huffington Post reported.
Like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim has an area named after the Sackler family, in this case the Sackler Center for Arts Education. The area was created almost 20 years ago and has different labs and theaters. While the museum benefits from this area and some of the funding it sorely needs, sometimes wealthy people and corporations use charitable givings as a means of influence peddling. Across Central Park, the Museum of Natural History remains controversial because of its ties to groups like Blackstone and has a section called the David H. Koch Dinosaur Wing, named after the notorious polluter, political donor, and climate denier.
The protestors did a “die-in” that was meant to illustrate the victims who were lost to the greed of the Sacklers and the evil opioids they pushed. The mothers, brothers, sisters, and friends who were turned into addicts and put into an early death. People dropped leaflets that looked like prescription pads, to draw attention to the “blizzard of prescriptions that will bury the competition,” according to court filings, in which the Sacklers appear giddy at the thought of profiting off of people’s destructive and deadly addictions, at the same time that they publicly said opioids were safe.
A new study even shows that an aggressive campaign was waged through the use of marketing directly to doctors, which is legal in the United States. A county-by-county analysis showed that opioid use after an area was exposed to more marketing increased, explained lead researcher Dr. Scott Hadland.
“The counties that had the most opioid product marketing from pharmaceutical companies were the counties that subsequently one year later had more opioid prescribing and had more opioid overdose deaths,” Hadland said.
He spoke about the court filings, which suggest that the Sacklers misled the public about the dangers of opioids.
“The investigators have focused on these large-value payments where a small number of doctors will get tens of thousands of dollars to help promote an opioid product,” Hadland said. He added the caveat that “our data are suggesting that the bigger public health problem is actually a much more subtle practice.”
According to Hadland, “The dollar value of these payments is less important than the number of these marketing interactions that take place. The widespread practice of taking doctors out to lunch or dinner to talk about opioid products is probably contributing more to the opioid crisis in the U.S. than these less common instances of docs receiving really large-value payments.”
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