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Court Memo Accuses Sackler Family of Misleading the Public About Opioids in Ruthless Chase of Profits

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A memo filed by the Massachusetts attorney general contends that the Sackler family, which owns OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, has long directed an effort by the company to push doctors to prescribe heavier doses of the painkiller and keep their patients on it for longer, even as it knew of the dangers and addictive nature of opioids.

According to the memo, the family and Purdue Pharma not only misled doctors and the public about the dangers of the drug, but one Sackler family member even proposed placing the blame on overdose victims for the opioid crisis. “We have to hammer on abusers in every way possible,” Richard Sackler wrote in an email in 2001, when he was president of the company. “They are the culprits and the problem. They are reckless criminals.”

The Tuesday filing is the first to name the Sackler family directly and marks the first time details have been released from the company’s internal documents. The memo depicts a number of family........

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