Raúl Torrez | Attorney General

AG Balderas Files Lawsuit Against Purdue Pharma’s Sackler Family for Fueling Opioid Crisis

For Immediate Release:
September 10, 2019
Contact: Matt Baca (505) 270-748

Albuquerque, NM—Today, Attorney General Balderas took yet another step in holding
accountable those responsible for New Mexico’s opioid epidemic. In a lawsuit filed
today, Attorney General Balderas brought action against the Sackler family for
masterminding illegal and deceptive practices which caused millions of pills to come
flooding into New Mexico. These eight members of the billionaire Sackler Family have
owned and controlled Purdue for decades. Until recently, the Sacklers controlled a
majority of the seats on the company’s board and used the company to execute illegal
and deadly schemes which helped lead New Mexico and the rest of the nation into the
epidemic we are currently facing, all the while paying themselves billions.

“The Sacklers are perhaps the most deadly drug dealers in the world. Because of their
illegal actions, New Mexico faces some of the highest opioid related death numbers in
the nation, and we have whole communities here in New Mexico which will never be the
same again,” said Attorney General Balderas. “Today I am seeking to hold them
accountable and to help end New Mexico’s crisis and avoid more lives being lost.”
The Sacklers and Purdue designed their operations to pull the wool over the eyes of the
public, state and federal regulators, and many doctors. They wrote the book on how to
market narcotics directly to doctors and to the public– convincing everyone through a
decades-long misinformation campaign that pain was being under-treated, and that
chronic, long-lasting pain of all sorts should be aggressively treated with their powerful
opioid, oxycontin. Purdue is not a publicly traded corporation and it has no other
shareholders besides the family, who regularly voted to pay themselves billions from the
company, then filtered company profits through a maze of trusts, offshore holding
companies and foreign banks. Since 2007, the Sacklers have taken billions out of the
company, making themselves rich at the expense of New Mexican lives.

Raul Torrez

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