Sackler family points fingers at Purdue Pharma during House hearing on opioids

Members of Purdue Pharma’s Sackler family testified before the House Oversight Committee Thursday, marking one of the first times in years the family had been publicly questioned under oath on the company’s role in the opioid epidemic.

The hearing comes as members of the Sackler family, who deny any personal wrongdoing in the opioid crisis, attempt to settle thousands of civil claims filed against them and their company, Purdue Pharma, by states and cities claiming they fueled and epidemic that has killed more than 400,000 people.

At the center of lawsuits against Purdue Pharma and members of the Sackler family is the argument they marketed Oxycontin to doctors and others as less addictive than other painkillers.

But the Sacklers largely dodged questions about Purdue’s marketing tactics, claiming they were unaware and pointed the finger at the company instead.

“I’m angry that some people working at Purdue broke the law,” Kathe Sackler, a former Purdue board member told lawmakers when asked if she would apologize for her role in the crisis.

The hearing did not produce much new information about the Sackler’s role in the crisis and largely served as a a public flogging for the family.

“Watching you testify makes my blood boil,” Rep. James Cooper (D-Tenn.) said to David Sackler. “I’m not sure that I’m aware of any family in America that’s more evil.”