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Pain And Accountability: Understanding The Sackler Family's Role In Opioid Crisis

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From 2000 to 2019, about 19,800 people died of an opioid-related overdose here in the Commonwealth. That's according to data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. And those are just the Massachusetts numbers.

Yet accountability for the opioid crisis, and the lives lost, remains elusive. Many state attorneys general — including Massachusetts AG Maura Healey — have taken aim at Purdue Pharma, the company behind the powerful prescription opioid OxyContin. Healey expanded that effort just last week, filing a lawsuit against a marketing firm connected to Purdue Pharma for the role it played in creating the opioid crisis.

But there's also the Sackler Family, founders and owners of multi-billion dollar Perdue Pharma. They're the focus of a new book from Dorchester-native Patrick Radden Keefe. He's a staff writer for the New Yorker, and the author of "Empire of Pain: The Secret History Of The Sackler Dynasty."

This segment aired on May 10, 2021.

Walter Wuthmann Twitter General Assignment Reporter
Walter Wuthmann is a general assignment reporter for WBUR.

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Jamie Bologna Twitter Senior Producer/Director, Radio Boston
Jamie Bologna was senior producer and director of Radio Boston.

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Tiziana Dearing is the host of Radio Boston.

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