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  1. This has been percolating for a while. The Sackler family (there are several branches) have been generous philanthropists, especially to art museums, and several major museums have named wings or programs after them. Locally, the best known example is the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, part of the Smithsonian Institute. The catch is the Sackler family owns the privately held Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContin (Oxycodone has been around since 1916, the patented drug OxyContin since 1995). Now there is a growing backlash against the Sackler family, who many activists believe have knowingly profited from the opioid crisis. In 2007, Purdue pleaded guilty to misleading the public about OxyContin's risk of addiction and paid a $600 million settlement. There are still multiple lawsuits open against the company. Several notes: Arthur Sackler had already passed by the time Purdue Pharma developed Oxy and his share in Purdue was sold to his brothers at the time of his death. His widow states it is unfair to tie him and their wealth to the opioid crisis. However, he was a pioneer in the direct marketing of pharmaceutical drugs to doctors and helped make Valium the first $100 million drug. Mortimer and Raymond Sackler co-owned Purdue Pharma. Washington Post article New Yorker article
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