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Richard Sackler Blamed Opioid Victims, Emails Show

Toby Talbot

Former Purdue Pharma chair Richard Sackler, writing in emails with an acquaintance, blamed the victims of the opioid epidemic. That’s according to unredacted court documents released Tuesday by Connecticut Attorney General William Tong.

In one email, Sackler says people who abuse prescription drugs are victimizers, not victims. In another, he appears to agree with an acquaintance who said “if people die because they abuse opioids, good riddance.”

Attorney General William Tong is suing both Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family. He said the previously undisclosed emails show an utter disregard for human life.

“It just shows the opposite of compassion and empathy, but really the dark heart that motivated their profiteering off of this crisis and human suffering.”

Purdue Pharma is facing thousands of lawsuits for its role in the nationwide opioid epidemic, including in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York. The company has denied the lawsuit’s allegations, which they call attacks.

A spokesperson for the Sackler family says Sackler apologized for using insensitive language that doesn’t reflect what he actually did. The spokesperson says the emails were written following news reports about criminal activity involving prescription opioids, such as drugstore robberies.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.