The Metropolitan Museum in New York (Met) does not accept donations from members of the rich Sackler family affected by the US opioid crisis, completes its long-standing charity collaboration with one of its largest sponsors, said the institution on Wednesday.
The Sackler family has been associated with several decades of collaboration with Met and other cultural institutions, and its charity has named a whole wing in the New York Museum.
However, institutions are increasingly criticized for accepting Sackler’s donations, as the family-owned Purdue Pharma pharmaceutical company is accused in the United States of having played a role in the opioid crisis by promoting OxyContin’s opioid analgesic as almost impossible to become dependent on, while he knew this was not true.
The Sackler family rejected the charges again on Wednesday, but added that he understood that accepting the gifts would make the Metropolitan uncomfortable. “We respect Met, our goal has always been to support the valuable work of such outstanding institutions, and we remain committed to doing so,” they wrote.
According to data from the American Center for Epidemiology (CDC), opioids have reported nearly 48,000 deaths in 2017. The epidemic began with prescription painkillers such as Percocet and OxyContin, and then the phenomenon intensified when these drugs escaped the black market.
Sackler is one of the wealthiest families in the United States. The Purdue Pharma pharmaceutical factory was founded in 1952 by the two brothers, Raymond, who died in 2010, and Mortimer died in 2017. The company’s revenue began to grow with the introduction of OxyContin in 1995, and the family’s assets were basically based on this pain killer.
Earlier, London’s Tate Modern and the New York Guggenheim Museum donated the Sackler family’s donations.