By Kayla Kibbe / March 25, 2019

Massive Federal Lawsuit Filed Against Sackler Family Over Opioid Crisis

"Eight people in a single family made the choices that caused much of the opioid epidemic."

NORWICH, CT - MARCH 23:  Oxycodone pain pills prescribed for a patient with chronic pain lie on display on March 23, 2016 in Norwich, CT. Communities nationwide are struggling with the unprecidented opioid pain pill and heroin addiction epidemic. On March 15, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), announced guidelines for doctors to reduce the amount of opioid painkillers prescribed, in an effort to curb the epidemic. The CDC estimates that most new heroin addicts first became hooked on prescription pain medication before graduating to heroin, which is stronger and cheaper.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
NORWICH, CT - MARCH 23: Oxycodone pain pills prescribed for a patient with chronic pain lie on display on March 23, 2016 in Norwich, CT. Communities nationwide are struggling with the unprecidented opioid pain pill and heroin addiction epidemic. On March 15, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), announced guidelines for doctors to reduce the amount of opioid painkillers prescribed, in an effort to curb the epidemic. The CDC estimates that most new heroin addicts first became hooked on prescription pain medication before graduating to heroin, which is stronger and cheaper. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

A family of eight stands accused of killing thousands, with 600 fingers pointing to the Sackler family as the cause of the opioid epidemic.

According to CNN, more than 600 cities, counties, and Native American tribes have filed a federal lawsuit against the family at the head of Purdue Pharma LP, the pharmaceutical giant that manufactures the pain-killer OxyContin.

The suit alleges that the Sackler family, among the wealthiest in America, amassed their fortune through deceptive marketing of the addictive and often lethal drug. According to the suit, the drug and its marketing “caused much of the opioid epidemic.”

“Because they controlled their own privately held drug company, the Sackler Defendants had the power to decide how addictive narcotics were sold. They got more patients on opioids, at higher doses, for longer, than ever before. They paid themselves billions of dollars. They are responsible for addiction, overdose, and death that damaged millions of lives. They should be held accountable now,” claimed the suit.

The family has denied the allegations and spokesperson for the Sacklers called the claims “baseless.”

“The company our fathers and grandfathers founded manufactures an FDA-approved medicine that has always represented a tiny portion of the opioid market — never more than four percent of nationwide opioid prescriptions and currently less than two percent — while providing life-changing relief for the millions of pain patients who need it,” the statement continued.

Purdue Pharma also denied the allegations, and called the suit an inaccurate and misleading  attempt “to single out Purdue, blame it for the entire opioid crisis in the United States, and try the case in the court of public opinion rather than the justice system,” in a statement released by Purdue spokesman Bob Josephson.

The suit was filed on March 18 in the Southern District of New York, CNN reported. The plaintiffs span 28 states, including both urban and rural areas hit hard by the opioid epidemic.

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