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The Sackler family's $ 1.3 million donation to the UK Portrait Gallery will not go ahead as planned as both sides are concerned that allegations that opioids have worked against the family overshadow the gift and could become a distraction.
"The recent reporting of allegations against members of the Sackler family has shown that this new donation distracts the National Portrait Gallery from their important work," said a Sackler Trust spokesman.
"The allegations against family members are vigorously rejected," said the spokeswoman.
The Sackler family owns Purdue Pharma, the company that has sold billions of dollars to OxyContin and is pressured to prescribe the opioid to physicians while at the same time misleading the public about its dangerous addictive qualities.
"The Sacklers are major donors to museums, galleries and theaters in the US and Europe," says Elizabeth Blair of NPR. "Artists and activists put pressure on these institutions to stop taking their money."
Purdue Pharma has previously admitted that it has committed a crime and paid several million dollars in fines. But most of all, a lawsuit from Massachusetts, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, is purporting to accuse eight members of the Sackler family of accusing them of wanting to maximize their profits, even though they knew the painkiller caused fatal overdoses.
Since Massachusetts Massachusetts The lawsuit has added new details to the allegations in which Purdue Pharma's former chairman and president, Richard Sackler, is described as "obsessed with profits in Massachusetts and the rest of the country", as member broadcasters WBUR reported in January.
Further revelations occurred following heavy repurchases of Healey's 274-page appeal last month. This shows that Purdue Pharma had hired a consulting firm to help its salespeople reach "high-prescription" physicians, WBUR said. The complaint alleges that the painkiller company paid more than $ 4 billion to Sackler family members between 2008 and 2016.
In response to the lawsuit, Purdue Pharma said that Healey's conclusions were wrong and that the company was being used as a scapegoat for the American opioid crisis.
Oxycodone – the semisynthetic opiate whose forms include OxyContin and other brand names – was the leading cause of overdose deaths in 2011 when at least one specific drug was mentioned. Since then, heroin and fentanyl have become the major threats of overdoses in the ongoing opioid crisis. But at least in 2016, the overdose rate of oxycodone also rose slightly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prescription.
The Sackler family's donation to the National Portrait Gallery in London since 2016, when the Sackler Trust introduced them, is in limbo as a way to pay for a construction project. Since then, the BBC reports, "The gallery had thought about accepting them."
The Sackler Trust and the National Portrait Gallery announced the withdrawal of the gift in a joint statement, with the museum representatives repeatedly saying the decision had come the family.
"We understand and support her decision not to continue the donation at this time," said David Ross, chairman of the National Portrait Gallery. A spokesman for the gallery added, "We respect and support the decision of the Sackler family."