Sacklers look likely to get the bankruptcy ruling they sought

Just as I feared, a bankruptcy judge has approved the deal that the odious Sackler family sought that would enable them to preserve and even increase the ill-gotten fortunes that they amassed from aggressively pushing their addictive pain-killers on the public, resulting in massive addiction levels and deaths from overdoses.

A US federal bankruptcy judge on Wednesday conditionally approved a sweeping, potentially $10bn plan submitted by the OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma to settle a mountain of lawsuits over its role in the opioid crisis that has killed a half-million Americans over the past two decades.

Under the settlement reached with creditors including individual victims and thousands of state and local governments, the Sackler family will give up ownership of the company and contribute $4.5bn but will be freed from any future lawsuits over opioids.
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Sackler exploitation of bankruptcy laws

In an earlier post, I linked to an episode of Last Week Tonight where John Oliver explained how the odious Sackler family are trying to use the bankruptcy laws so that, while they claim that they will be paying $4.5 billion, they will end up with total immunity frrom future lawsuits, will not have to admit guilt, and likely end up even more wealthy than they are now. This article explains why this is such a bad deal for the public and how it lets the Sacklers off the hook.
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Why the Sackler deal is so bad

The legal cases brought by so many state attorneys general and individuals against the odious Sackler family, whose company Purdue Pharma was responsible for so many opioid deaths, is going before a bankruptcy judge this week who will decide on a plea deal brought by some state attorneys general.

John Oliver gives a masterful expose of why the deal that has been proposed is such a bad one but will likely get approved. Basically the deal is such that the Sacklers, while pretending to pay billions, will actually get off very lightly by having their considerable personal assets mostly protected and will also be given sweeping blanket immunity from the lawsuits of those who did not agree to be part of this deal and even future lawsuits. They will not even have to plead guilty to any personal wrongdoing in the case, blaming it all on the company even though they were very hands-on in driving the practices that led to massive rates of addiction.

The bankruptcy judge hearing the case has a history of being sympathetic to these kinds of deals which is why the Sacklers shopped around so that they could appear before him in the small town of White Plains, NY. This case shows how the rich can manipulate the legal system to their benefit.

I hope that this show helps to create a big enough uproar that he has second thoughts about letting them get off so easy.

The Sackler family epitomizes greed and sleaziness

I have written many times before about the Sackler family that made billions of dollars by pushing their company Purdue Pharmaceuticals to get doctors to overprescribe the opioid painkiller OxyContin and making the dosage stronger, resulting in the massive drug addiction problem we have now that have caused so many deaths.

Investigative reporter Patrick Radden Keefe has written a new book Empire of Pain about the Sackler family and he was interviewed on the radio program Fresh Air about how the family went to great efforts to push the drug while at the same time keeping their name separate from the company so that they could build up their reputations as philanthropists and have their name attached to many public and university buildings. He explained how they are trying to shield their personal fortunes from the many lawsuits against them by shifting company money into their private accounts and then putting the company into bankruptcy.
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The Sacklers get off easy

The Sackler family has made billions of dollars by pushing doctors to aggressively prescribe the opioids produced by their company Purdue Pharmaceuticals to patients, thus helping cause the passive prescription drug addiction problem that has ranged so many families and communities. They then donated money to universities and other cultural institution that put their name on buildings to enable them to pose as philanthropists.
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John Oliver exposes the Sacklers-again

The Sackler family, the owners of the Purdue Pharma that aggressively marketed the painkiller Oxycontin resulting in an explosive growth in drug addiction, has been dragged into the spotlight and are now the target of multiple lawsuits by states. As a result these highly secretive people, who only allow their names to be public when they put it on buildings as part of their ‘philanthropy’, have been forced to give legal depositions. But their lawyers have aggressively worked to have their video depositions sealed
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Samantha Bee shines light on the Sacklers

I have written repeatedly about the awful Sackler family and how they are hiding behind the veil of philanthropy the ugly fact that they are largely responsible for the opioid crisis through their aggressive and deceptive marketing of the drug OxyContin by Purdue Pharma, the company they own.

So I welcome Samantha Bee dragging their name and their association with the drug epidemic into the spotlight.

Further evidence of the Sackler family’s utter rapaciousness

The Sackler family are the owners of Purdue Pharma, maker of the powerful opioid OxyContin, the drug that has been a major contributor to the drug crisis that has killed so many people and ruined the lives of so many others. I have written before about how they relentless marketed the drug in their effort to get more money. The people in the pharmaceutical industry that pushed these drugs have been described as “drug dealers in lab coats”. Now ProPublica, that excellent investigative news organization that I financially support, has another report obtained from sealed testimony about their sleazy tactics to get doctors to prescribe more of the drug by giving them a false impression of its potency.
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How to give away money

While Amazon founder Jeff Bezos uses the obscene wealth he has squeezed out of the labor of his employees before getting rid of them to indulge his whims of flying into space and building megayachts while avoiding paying taxes, his ex-wife Mackenzie Scott is using her share of his ill-gotten gains that she obtained in her divorce to try and do a little good.

The American novelist and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott said on Tuesday she had given a further $2.7bn (£1.9bn) to 286 organisations.

Scott, who was formerly married to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, issued a statement regarding distribution of the latest tranche of her $57bn fortune.

It was the third round of announcements Scott has made regarding her philanthropy, which rivals the largest of foundations. In 2020, she made two similar surprise announcements and donated about $6bn to causes including Covid relief, gender equity, historically Black colleges and universities and other schools.
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New documentary on opioid drug profiteering

Alex Gibney has a new documentary The Crime of the Century that looks at the opioid drug crisis and the shameless role played by the big pharmaceutical companies like Purdue and the Sackler family who profited greatly from the deaths of many people and the destruction of families and communities, topics that I have covered many times before. They were aided and abetted in their crimes by government officials and lawmakers who cut deals with the Sacklers and top Purdue executives to allow them to escape the consequences of their actions and retain their ill-gotten billions.

Here is a detailed review by Saloni Gajjar.
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