The united front that was once shown by the Sackler family is now beginning to weaken. The billionaire family is saddled with litigation regarding their responsibility in the American opioid epidemic.
The eight members of the Sackler family involved in the case have clashed twice in recent months over strategies to be used in their defense against claims their company, Purdue Pharma LP, used deceptive marketing practices to push painkillers that ultimately led to drug overdoses.
The split between the two camps that have formed within the family is so deep that advisors for the family refer to the two family factions as the A and B sides.
One hotly debated topic within the family is how Richard Sackler, former president of Purdue, should respond to the exposure of emails he sent in the past that expressed negative criticism of individuals battling opioid addiction.
There has also been a major disagreement over tactics for legal defense. One faction within the family felt it better to declare bankruptcy to stave off lawsuits rather than pay a settlement in a case filed against the company in Oklahoma.
The family is currently facing more than 2000 lawsuits from various jurisdictions in the United States. The lawsuits center around the allegation Purdue pushed painkillers into the market without adequately addressing the risk for addiction.
The Sackler family is currently worth $13 billion. Members of the family need to reach an agreement concerning the money they are willing to pay to resolve all their litigation issues.
The two Sackler fashions issued a joint statement explaining they are taking part in internal talks aimed at reaching a decision that is best for all members of the family. The statement also said the disagreements regarding strategic handling of the litigation facing the family is not a sign of a split within the family.
The Sacklers have not spoken publicly about their disagreements but individuals close to the family have reported some of the conversations under the condition of anonymity.
Purdue did not comment on the Sackler family talks bud did take the time to explain the Food and Drug Administration approved the labels the company used to warn doctors and patients of the danger of opioid abuse. The company also denies any wrongdoing that contributed to the opioid epidemic.