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The Sackler name adorns the walls of many storied institutions: Harvard, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Oxford, the Louvre. They are one of the richest families in the world, known for their lavish donations to the arts and sciences. The source of the family fortune was vague, however, until it emerged that the Sackler's were responsible for making and marketing Oxycontin, a blockbuster painkiller that was a catalyst for the opioid crisis. Empire...
Journalist Sam Quinones chronicles how, over the past fifteen years, as opoid-based pain medications like OxyContin began flooding the prescription drug market, enterprising sugar cane farmers in a small county on the west coast of Mexico created a unique distribution system that brought black tar heroin-- the cheapest, most addictive form of the opiate, two to three times purer than its white powder cousin-- to the United States. The result has been...
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