On Wednesday, NY’s MAA announced that donations from the Sackler family would henceforth be rejected. The Sacklers made their fortune from opioid production business. The family owns the manufacturing company Purdue Pharma that produces opioid drugs like OxyContin, which causes thousands of deaths a year.
Several other galleries had also taken similar action against the Sacklers. New York’s Solomon Museum, London’s Tate Galleries and National Gallery have sought to remove themselves from such controversial patrons and their donations. The Met is widely visited by tourists around the world, clocked at 7 million a year. Daniel Weiss, President of the museum stated that while the museum was grateful to its supporters, it felt the need to distance itself from gifts not in public or the museum’s interests.
However, the Sackler name will not be removed from museum’s wings. This decision ends the relationship between Sacklers and the museum that has spanned decades.
Sackler Wing a popular attraction that had cost over $9.8B to be built or over $38M in today’s dollars, to be built in 1978. Purdue had agreed to settle for $270M for a lawsuit that alleges the company’s opioids were responsible for thousands of deaths. The lawsuit was filed by the state of Oklahoma, which alleged that companies like Teva, J&J and Purdue downplayed risks and overstated benefits.
This happens to be the first deal Purdue has made, related to an Oxycontin lawsuit against it. However, these companies continue to deny these claims. Chair of Sackler Trust, Dame Sackler, informed that all philanthropic activities in UK would cease for now. The increased scrutiny over Purdue Pharma has distracted them, she wrote. A law firm out of Toronto has decided to initiate a lawsuit worth $1.1B against 28 pharma companies, representing Canadian citizens who have now become addicted to opioids.