The Sackler family has given millions to philanthropic causes, but as more information comes out about how involved the family was in Purdue Pharma’s aggressive marketing tactics, institutions are starting to think about cutting ties. But experts in philanthropy and nonprofits said returning funds or removing the Sackler name may be difficult.
Two prominent institutions, the New York Academy of Sciences and Columbia University, are joining the list of universities, museums and nonprofits currently reviewing their philanthropic relationships with members of the Sackler family, owners of pain-pill maker Purdue Pharma LP. Forbes ranked the Sacklers the 19th-richest family in America in 2016 at $13 billion. While a total assessment of the family’s philanthropy is unclear, millions have been given away by family entities. (Hopkins, 2/20)
In other news on the epidemic —
In a growing number of states, patients who get opioids for serious pain may leave their doctors’ offices with a second prescription — for naloxone, a drug that can save their lives if they overdose on the powerful painkillers. New state laws and regulations in California, Virginia, Arizona, Ohio, Washington, Vermont and Rhode Island require physicians to “co-prescribe” or at least offer naloxone prescriptions when prescribing opioids to patients considered at high risk of overdosing. (Ostrov, 2/21)
A Tennessee doctor and pastor who federal prosecutors say is a prolific drug trafficker once wrote suspicious prescriptions for an addictive muscle relaxer to patients on the other side of the country who he appears to have never examined, according to health officials. Dr. Samson Orusa, who owns and operates a pain clinic in Clarksville, was indicted on charges of drug trafficking and health care fraud last year. Court records state that an undercover federal investigation found Orusa rarely examined patients and prescribed opioids to large groups through what authorities referred to as “cattle calls.” (Kelman, 2/20)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an
Syndicated from https://khn.org/morning-breakout/as-details-emerge-of-sackler-familys-role-in-opioid-crisis-prominent-institutions-rethink-philanthropic-ties/