In this image from House Television, David Sackler, a member of the family that owns Purdue Pharma testifies via video to a House Oversight Committee hearing Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020.
House Television via AP
David and Kathe Sackler, two of the owners of Perdue Pharma, acknowledged their drug Oxycontin’s role in the opioid crisis but stopped short of accepting any liability while testifying in front of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, the Associated Press reported.
The Sacklers made more than $12 billion from the sale of the OxyContin, which has been tied to the deaths of close to 500,000 people.
“I’m not sure I know of any family in America that is more evil than yours,” Tennessee Democrat Dan Cooper said during the hearing.
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Two members of the Sackler family, owners of Perdue Pharma which manufactures the drug OxyContin refused to apologize for their alleged role in fueling the opioids crisis, the Associated Press reported.
David Sackler and Kathe Sackler testified via video to the House Oversight and Reform Committee as part of an investigation into the family and company’s role in contributing to the crisis.
The Sacklers acknowledged that their prescription pain killer contributed to the crisis but stopped short of taking any personal responsibility.
“I want to express my family’s deep sadness about the opioid crisis,” David Sackler said during the three-and-a-half-hour hearing. “OxyContin is a medicine that Purdue intended to help people, and it has helped, and continues to help, millions of Americans.”
“To the American people I am deeply and profoundly sorry that OxyContin has played a role in any addiction and death,” he continued, adding, “I believe I conducted myself legally and ethically.”
Rep. Jim Cooper said Sackler’s testimony made his “blood boil,” The Guardian reported.
“I’m not sure I know of any family in America that is more evil than yours,” Cooper said.
The AP reported that Purdue Pharma’s marketing has been linked to close to 500,000 deaths over the past 20 years.
When asked by Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney if she took any personal responsibility for the crisis Kathe Sackler told Congress: “I have tried to figure out if there’s anything I could have done differently knowing what I knew then, not what I know now. There is nothing I can find that I would have done differently.”
Last month, the company pleaded guilty to three criminal charges in federal court that stemmed from efforts to gain higher sales of OxyContin, including attempts to mislead regulators.
Rep. Kelly Armstrong slammed the Sacklers, noting that even after the company pleaded guilty last month their sales still increased. A 2019 report from the Wall Street Journal revealed that the family had made between $12 and $13 billion from the drug.
“You want to ask what you could have done differently?” Armstrong asked. “Look at your own damn balance sheet.”
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