WBUR, January 16, 2019
Christine Willmsen and Martha Bebinger

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The Sackler family behind Purdue Pharma knew that its painkiller OxyContin was causing overdoses, yet continued to cash in as deaths mounted, the Massachusetts attorney general alleges in court documents filed Tuesday.

In a new 274-page memorandum, Attorney General Maura Healey details a chain of command that she alleges implicates eight Sackler family members, as well as nine Purdue board members or executives, in the nation's deadly opioid epidemic.

An earlier version of the memo, filed on Dec. 21, was more than half redacted, after Purdue Pharma argued to withhold information about the Sacklers, one of the richest families in the United States. Some sections remain blacked out in Tuesday's filing.

The new memo spells out Healey's allegations that the Sacklers flooded Massachusetts with sales reps, influenced state legislation, and financially backed medical facilities and universities so they could tout Purdue opioids. [...]

addiction bioethics pharmaceuticals public health