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The UK universities benefiting from opioid money

PHOTO: STAT News/Patrick Sison/AP

King’s College in London received £2m from members of the Sackler family, whose pharmaceutical firm is accused of helping to fuel the US opioid crisis.

By Dearbail Jordan | 18 October 2019

BBC — The Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation gave £5.2m to mostly UK universities and charities in 2018, according to its latest accounts.

King’s College was the top recipient, followed by the University of Sussex which received grants totalling £1.4m.

King’s College said the money supported its work in neurodevelopmental studies.

Since awarding the funds, the billionaire Sackler family’s firm, Purdue Pharma, has filed for bankruptcy to deal with thousands of lawsuits stemming from its prescription opioid painkiller OxyContin.

The lawsuits allege Purdue aggressively marketed OxyContin, while misleading doctors and patients over addiction and overdose risks.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said that opioids, which also include drugs such as heroin and Fentanyl, are the biggest cause of overdose deaths in the US and in 2017 claimed 47,600 lives. […]

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