Members of the Sackler family, who own Purdue Pharma, have notoriously avoided the media, but David Sackler broke the silence by speaking with Bethany McLean of Vanity Fair to say his family "didn't cause the [opioid] crisis."

What he said: Sackler conceded that marketing claims saying OxyContin had small risks of abuse and addiction were wrong, but argued they were based on the science at the time.

  • He also said people should "look at all the good Purdue has done … it's overwhelming what the company over the years was trying to do to fix this problem."

Yes, but: Reporting in the Los Angeles TimesProPublica and elsewhere shows the company, led by the Sacklers, knew about the problems with OxyContin and other prescription opioids for years and still encouraged aggressive prescribing to boost sales.

  • One of the most damning examples come from company emails that show David's father, Richard, agreeing with a plan not to tell doctors that OxyContin is a stronger painkiller than morphine.

Go deeper: Richard Sackler endorsed plan to mislead about OxyContin's potency

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did"
  2. Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: New York reports most COVID cases since MayStudies show drop in coronavirus death rate
  5. Education: San Francisco public schools likely won't reopen before the end of the year.
  6. World: Spain becomes first nation in Western Europe to exceed 1 million cases — France becomes the 2nd
Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. officials: Iran and Russia aim to interfere in election

Iran and Russia have obtained voter registration information that can be used to undermine confidence in the U.S. election system, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe announced at a press conference Wednesday evening.

Why it matters: The revelation comes roughly two weeks before Election Day. Ratcliffe said Iran has sent threatening emails to Democratic voters this week in states across the U.S. and spread videos claiming that people can vote more than once.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court blocks Alabama curbside voting measure

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday evening blocked a lower court order that would have allowed voters to cast ballots curbside at Alabama polling places on Election Day.

Whit it matters: With less than two weeks until Election Day, the justices voted 5-3 to reinstate the curbside voting ban and overturn a lower court judge's ruling designed to protect people with disabilities during the coronavirus pandemic.

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