Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General
202 North Ninth Street
For media inquiries only, contact:
Charlotte Gomer, Press Secretary
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
NEW REPORT CONFIRMS HERRING'S ALLEGATIONS OF SELF-ENRICHMENT BY SACKLER FAMILY
~ Audit commissioned by Purdue Pharma confirms that the Sacklers withdrew billions of dollars from the company and distributed it among family-controlled trusts and holding companies as scrutiny surrounding Purdue's role in creating and prolonging the opioid crisis intensified ~
RICHMOND (December 17, 2019) – A new report, commissioned by Purdue Pharma, confirms Attorney General Mark R. Herring's allegations that the Sackler family drained billions of dollars from the company and distributed it among family-controlled trusts and offshore holding companies in order to shield the money from litigation as scrutiny surrounding Purdue's role in creating and prolonging the opioid crisis intensified. The 350-page audit filed by Purdue Pharma in bankruptcy court in New York on Monday evening as part of the company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy details $10.7 billion moved by the family. Back in September, Attorney General Herring filed suit against members of the Sackler Family, owners of Purdue Pharma, for their role in creating and perpetuating the opioid crisis, and for fraudulently taking billions of dollars from Purdue Pharma in an attempt to put money beyond the reach of the Commonwealth of Virginia and other parties who may be entitled to damages.
"This audit, commissioned by the company itself, confirms my allegations that the Sackler family went to extreme lengths to shield their money from the inevitable lawsuits surrounding their role in creating the opioid crisis,” said Attorney General Herring. "This family must be held accountable for the devastation they have caused around Virginia and across the country, which is why I sued them personally. The Sacklers will never be able to undo the pain and heartbreak they have caused but I will make sure that they face real, significant consequences for their actions as a part of any resolution.”
In June 2018, Attorney General Herring filed suit against Purdue Pharma for its role in creating and prolonging the opioid crisis through false claims about the purported safety, efficacy, and benefits of its opioids, including OxyContin. The suit details the scale of the operation, the lies Purdue Pharma told about the dangers of their drugs, and the sales and marketing tactics used by Purdue to push as many opioid prescriptions as possible.
Additionally, in October of this year, Attorney General Herring filed suit against opioid manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals, USA, Inc. and its predecessor, Cephalon Inc., for engaging in what he alleges is an unlawful, complex, decades-long campaign to boost sales of fentanyl – the most potent narcotic currently approved for human use—by marketing its rapid acting fentanyl drugs for unapproved and unsafe uses, and by knowingly and intentionally downplaying the risks of its drugs while overselling the benefits.
Attorney General Herring also continues to participate in a bipartisan, multistate effort to investigate and hold opioid manufacturers and distributors accountable for their roles in the opioid crisis.
The heroin and prescription opioid epidemic has been a top priority for Attorney General Herring. He and his team continue to attack the problem with a multifaceted approach that includes enforcement, education, prevention, and legislation to encourage reporting of overdoses in progress, expand the availability of naloxone, and expand access to the Prescription Monitoring Program. He has supported federal efforts to improve the availability of treatment and recovery resources and made prescription drug disposal kits available across the Commonwealth. Attorney General Herring recently outlined his recommended next steps for combating the crisis, focusing on law enforcement initiatives, support from the medical community, and recovery, treatment, prevention and education. He and his team also continue to participate in a multistate investigation into the practices of additional drug manufacturers and distributors to determine what role they may have played in creating or prolonging the crisis and what accountability they should face.
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