Earlier this month, Ars reported on a lawsuit filed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts against OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, members of its board, and the mega-rich, secretive family behind it all, the Sacklers. The court filings were the first to allege that the Sacklers—previously known mostly for their philanthropy—were in fact directly behind the aggressive tactics that Purdue used to drive sales of its highly addictive opioid pain killer, which allegedly helped to ignite the current opioid epidemic.
Those same sales tactics were found to be deceptive and fraudulent by federal prosecutors in 2007.
Massachusetts’ allegations painted a grim image of greed and callousness on the part of the family—for example, Richard Sackler’s suggestion to consider patients who became addicted to their powerful drugs “reckless criminals” to protect sales and profits. But the version of the lawsuit released didn’t have the full picture. Parts of the nearly 300-page complaint were redacted at the request of Purdue and the Sacklers.
That’s not the case anymore. On Monday, January 28, a Massachusetts judge ruled that the lawsuit could be released in full, and the state’s attorney general’s office did so on Thursday. The newly revealed portions don’t dramatically change the loathsome portrait the allegations paint of the affluent family. However, there are some interesting new pieces of information, and Ars has gone ahead and plucked them out.
First, if you’re interested in perusing the unredacted version yourself, here is the full document (PDF) with the previously redacted sections highlighted in yellow. (For comparison, here is the previously redacted version.)
Here are some of the big pieces of information and allegations in the lawsuit that the Sacklers didn’t want you to see. (List is followed by a gallery, where, again, highlighting represents previously redacted text):
Last, a shout-out to the noble employee at Purdue who tried to right the ship, sending this email.
The employee left Purdue a month after writing this.