Painkiller: Where is Richard Sackler now? – Dexerto

Netflix’s latest look at Big Pharma comes in the form of Painkiller, exploring the well-known company Purdue Pharma and its leader, Richard Sackler. But who is he, what is he known for and what has happened to him since then?

Just as we had the dramatizations of the Candy Montgomery case on Hulu and HBO, we now have two retellings of the Purdue Pharma scandal and its role in the opioid crisis that claimed thousands of lives in the US.

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In the year 2021, Hulu launched Dopesick show. It featured Michael Keaton and Kaitlyn Dever in the roles of normal individuals whose lives were cut short due to Purdue’s strong OxyContin marketing strategy. Meanwhile, Michael Stuhlbarg took on the real-life role of the nefarious Richard Sackler. Sackler was the millionaire businessman and president of Purdue Pharma.

But now it’s Netflix’s turn. Streamers’ new series Painkiller, starring Matthew Broderick as the Sackler heir, has sparked renewed interest in the heartbreaking case. This has left many wondering: what happened to the real Richard Sackler after the events of Painkiller, and where is he now?

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Painkiller: Where is Richard Sackler now?

Richard Sackler is 78 years old and is widely reported to be living in his $1.7 million home in Boca Raton, Florida, having sold his $30 million home in 2018. Richard, along with the rest of the Sackler family, is at the center of an ongoing bankruptcy. case involving Purdue Pharma.

Richard and the Sackler family behind Purdue, which produced and marketed the highly addictive drug OxyContin as a non-addictive pain reliever in the 1990s, have collectively faced thousands of lawsuits over their role in the opioid crisis. These came from individuals, states and local governments who claimed that Purdue’s marketing practices contributed to widespread addiction and death.

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Creative Commons

Dr. Richard Sackler during a 2015 deposition

During its heyday, OxyContin brought the Sackler family billions of dollars. Fast forward to September 2019, Purdue has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as part of a framework to resolve the plethora of lawsuits it has faced. The proposed deal involved the Sacklers relinquishing control of the company, with the company being turned into a public trust.

But even today, the case is ongoing and full of complexities. In June of this year, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York approved a settlement with the company ordering the Sacklers, including Richard, to pay $6 billion, more than half of their estimated wealth, to help fight the opioid epidemic.

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The family said in a statement: The Sackler families believe that the long-awaited implementation of this resolution is critical to providing substantial resources to people and communities in need.

However, the settlement would have moved the bankruptcy process forward and granted them immunity from future civil lawsuits concerning OxyContin, which critics argued would benefit the Sackler family in the long run.

Taking these factors into account, the Supreme Court this week blocked and suspended the $6 billion settlement, instead scheduling a hearing with arguments set to begin in December. Ultimately, the decision will center on whether the Sacklers can use the Purdue bankruptcy case to get out of all future lawsuits related to actions that caused social harm.

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There is no doubt that many of the families of those who fell victim to OxyContin and the opioid crisis would not want to see Richard Sackler and his family protected in such a substantial way, nor would they be pleased that he is still able to live a life of wealth. . even if it means reducing your former fortune.

The Purdue Pharma Story: Who Is the Sackler Family?

Richard is a member of the Sacklers, the prominent American family known for its philanthropic efforts, but also for its ownership and involvement in Purdue Pharma, the pharmaceutical company famous for manufacturing and marketing the highly addictive pain reliever OxyContin.

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As explored in Netflix’s Painkiller, the family first entered the pharmaceutical industry through three Sackler brothers, Arthur, Mortimer and Raymond, who acquired a small company called Purdue Frederick in the 1950s. Under Sacklers’ direction, the company grew and evolved, eventually becoming Purdue Pharma.

Arthur Sackler, one of the three patriarchs of the Sackler family's controversial pharmaceutical dynastyCreative Commons

Arthur Sackler, one of the three patriarchs of the controversial Sackler pharmaceutical dynasty

Richard, Raymond’s son, has held a number of positions at the company over the years, including Vice President, Senior Vice President and President. But he is famously known as the man behind the development and marketing of OxyContin, as he conveyed the message that the pain reliever is non-addictive, despite the fact that the opposite is true.

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It was promoted as having less abuse potential due to its extended-release formulation, but it quickly became evident that OxyContin could be easily abused, leading to addiction, overdose and death. The launch and subsequent promotion of the drug marked a significant period of financial growth for Purdue.

Critics argue that Purdue Pharma, under Sacklers’ leadership, played a key role in the US opioid epidemic through aggressive marketing techniques and downplaying the addiction risks associated with OxyContin. E-mails and other internal documents made public through litigation suggested that Richard was well aware of the potential abuse of painkillers but insisted on boosting his sales.

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In a now infamous 2001 email, Sackler responded to reports of OxyContin abuse by stating that the company had to target abusers in every way possible. He added: They are the culprits and the problem. They are reckless criminals, which implies that users are the problem and not the drug itself.

As discussed, Purdue and the Sacklers faced thousands of lawsuits over their role in the opioid crisis. In 2007, Purdue Frederick, an affiliate of Purdue Pharma, pleaded guilty to misleading the public about OxyContin’s risk of addiction and potential for abuse.

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The company agreed to pay $600 million in fines and other payments, one of the largest pharmaceutical settlements in U.S. history at the time. But the Sackler family was not personally responsible in this case, causing widespread outrage.

Richard and the Sackler family largely retreated from the public eye amidst the controversy. Many institutions that once welcomed Sackler’s philanthropy, including museums and universities, have either distanced themselves from the family or faced outside pressure to do so.

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By telling the true story of the Sacklers and what went on behind the scenes, Dopesick and Painkiller somehow offered justice to many of the victims, raising awareness of the perpetrators while examining the devastating impact their actions had on communities across America. .

Painkiller is available to stream on Netflix now. You can read more about the series, like what happened to Glen here, and whether a second season is in the works here. You can check out the cast here and our other Netflix coverage below:

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