Tufts University announced Thursday that it was removing all mentions of the Sackler family from school buildings and programs because of the “human toll of the opioid epidemic” sparked by OxyContin — manufactured by their family business, Purdue Pharma.
The decision to distance the school from the pharmaceutical dynasty closely tied to the school for almost 40 years came after “long and thoughtful deliberations,” university president Anthony Monaco said in a letter co-signed with the board of trustees’ chairman, Peter Dolan.
“Our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and others have shared with us the negative impact the Sackler name has on them each day, noting the human toll of the opioid epidemic in which members of the Sackler family and their company, Purdue Pharma, are associated,” they wrote.
“It is clear that the Sackler name, with its link to the current health crisis, runs counter to the school’s mission.”
The letter insisted that the school was not “seeking to erase this chapter of Tufts’ history,” however, insisting, “It is part of this institution forever.”
The pair noted that the family became involved in Tufts in the 1980s, before Purdue Pharma introduced OxyContin, which is “now at the center of the nation’s opioid crisis.”
The letter also revealed a $3 million endowment to support addiction programs to help those “who have suffered as a result of the opioid crisis.”
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