Purdue Pharma

The Sackler family withdrew billions from Purdue Pharma

 Purdue Pharma headquarters
Purdue Pharma headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Sackler family, owners of Purdue Pharma, withdrew $10.7 billion from the company over the last dozen years, placing the money in trusts and overseas holding companies, according to an audit commissioned by Purdue and filed in bankruptcy court yesterday.

Why it matters: The revelation may reignite the debate over how much the Sacklers should be required to pay to resolve the thousands of lawsuits pending against Purdue for its role in the opioid epidemic, the New York Times reports. The family has offered to pay at least $3 billion in cash as part of a settlement, but some states have argued that the Sacklers should have to pay more.

Go deeper: New court documents show former Purdue Pharma chief's role in marketing OxyContin

New court documents show former Purdue Pharma chief's role in marketing OxyContin

Purdue Pharma headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut
Purdue Pharma headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

New court records reviewed by Stat show how Richard Sackler, a former executive at Purdue Pharma, guided the company's promotional strategy for the launch of its opioid pain medication OxyContin.

Why it matters: Sackler's family founded and controls Purdue Pharma. The company in 2007 pleaded guilty to a felony related to falsely promoting OxyContin as less addictive and not as likely to produce tolerance or symptoms of withdrawal than other pain medications, even though the drugs is twice as strong as morphine. More than 218,000 Americans have died from overdoses of all prescription opioids.