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.