To: Larry Bacow, President, Harvard University

Tell Harvard: Cut Ties With Makers of OxyContin

According to the New York Times, "the Sackler family, which owns the company that makes OxyContin, directed years of efforts to mislead doctors and patients about the dangers of the powerful opioid painkiller." Harvard University must immediately cut all ties with the Sacklers and refuse any future funding from them.

Why is this important?

Purdue Pharma, which makes OxyContin, is owned by the Sackler family. According to the New York Times, "Since OxyContin came on the market in 1996, more than 200,000 people have died in the United States from overdoses involving prescription opioids, and Purdue Pharma has been the target of numerous lawsuits."

Here in Massachusetts, the opioid crisis has hit hard. In 2016 alone there were 1,821 opioid-related overdose deaths in our state. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey recently filed a lawsuit that aims to hold members of the Sackler family personally responsible for deliberately misleading the public about the dangers of OxyContin, but we need to pressure Harvard to completely cut ties as well.

Category


Reasons for signing

  • i want to be proud of my school
  • Arthur M. Sackler is the patriarch of the Sackler family and the eldest of three brothers involved in the pharmaceutical business, the latter two of whom would eventually go on to incorporate Purdue Pharma L.P. and develop OxyContin. Though Arthur Sackler was not personally involved in the development of OxyContin, his profession in medical advertising similarly relied on a capitalist approach to medicine that prioritized profits over medical integrity and public health.
  • Maintaining ties with Purdue Pharma is supporting the killers of hundreds of thousands of Americans. Shame on Harvard!

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