Sackler scions ditch New York for Europe in wake of opioid scandal

Members of the Purdue Pharma family engulfed in the opiod crisis have sold their $38million Upper East Side townhouse and moved to Europe.

Mortimer Sackler, son of the late founder and a former board member of the OxyContin producer, and his wife Jacqueline have told friends they will be spending ‘the winter term’ at Gstaad, Switzerland.

Their move to the sumptuous Swiss ski village comes after flogging the five-story house on East 75th Street – just a skip away from Fifth Avenue – to billionaire hedge fund manager Israel Englander for an undisclosed fee.

In an email sent Wednesday, obtained by Page Six, Mortimer wrote to friends: ‘Jackie, Oscar (our 5 year old) and I are spending the winter term in Gstaad. We will also take the opportunity of being based here to travel in Europe. 

Mortimer Sackler, son of the late founder and a former board member of the Oxycotin producer, and his wife Jacqueline have told friends they will be spending 'the winter term' at Gstaad, Switzerland (pictured: Mortimer Sackler and Jacqueline Sackler attend The Winter Dance 2006 Desert Oasis Sponsored by VERSACE at The American Museum of Natural History on February 16, 2006)

Mortimer Sackler, son of the late founder and a former board member of the Oxycotin producer, and his wife Jacqueline have told friends they will be spending 'the winter term' at Gstaad, Switzerland (pictured: Mortimer Sackler and Jacqueline Sackler attend The Winter Dance 2006 Desert Oasis Sponsored by VERSACE at The American Museum of Natural History on February 16, 2006)

Mortimer Sackler, son of the late founder and a former board member of the Oxycotin producer, and his wife Jacqueline have told friends they will be spending ‘the winter term’ at Gstaad, Switzerland (pictured: Mortimer Sackler and Jacqueline Sackler attend The Winter Dance 2006 Desert Oasis Sponsored by VERSACE at The American Museum of Natural History on February 16, 2006)

Their move to the sumptuous Swiss ski village comes after flogging the five-story house on on East 75th Street - just a skip away from Fifth Avenue - to billionaire hedge fund manager Israel Englander

Their move to the sumptuous Swiss ski village comes after flogging the five-story house on on East 75th Street - just a skip away from Fifth Avenue - to billionaire hedge fund manager Israel Englander

Their move to the sumptuous Swiss ski village comes after flogging the five-story house on on East 75th Street – just a skip away from Fifth Avenue – to billionaire hedge fund manager Israel Englander

‘We would love to see you either in Gstaad, if you are here or nearby, or elsewhere in Europe (taking advantage of the ease of travel here vs ours in NYC).’ 

He continued: ‘Do let us know what your plans are, and what you have been up to as we would love to catch up. Wishing you all the best for a Healthy and Happy 2020, Mortimer and Jacqueline.’   

Mortimer and Jacqueline Sackler attend the Guggenheim International Gala at Rumsey Playfield Central Park in November 2006

Mortimer and Jacqueline Sackler attend the Guggenheim International Gala at Rumsey Playfield Central Park in November 2006

Mortimer and Jacqueline Sackler attend the Guggenheim International Gala at Rumsey Playfield Central Park in November 2006 

The Sackler family’s OxyContin-producing company, Purdue Pharma, is privately-owned and not listed on a stock exchange but has an estimated annual revenue of $3billion. 

OxyContin, which Purdue heavily marketed, was first introduced in 1996.

Local authorities soon reported an epidemic of addiction and criminal behavior associated with the drug, as people crushed the tablets and snorted or injected them.

Overdoses involving prescription opioids like OxyContin have soared in the past 20 years.

Purdue introduced an abuse-deterrent form of the drug in 2010 while still continuing to aggressively market it to doctors. 

There were 17,029 recorded by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2017, a 395 per cent rise from 3,442 in 1999.

And the Sacklers’ Purdue Pharma is facing around 2,600 lawsuits implicating its OxyContin in drug users’ deaths.

It applied for bankruptcy status in September after approaching a settlement worth $12billion with local governments across the US. 

The Sacklers' Purdue Pharma is facing around 2,600 lawsuits implicating its OxyContin in drug users' deaths

The Sacklers' Purdue Pharma is facing around 2,600 lawsuits implicating its OxyContin in drug users' deaths

The Sacklers’ Purdue Pharma is facing around 2,600 lawsuits implicating its OxyContin in drug users’ deaths

WHO ARE THE SACKLERS?

Purdue Pharma, which is run by some members of the wealthy Sackler family, has made tens of billions on opioid sales. Here is a breakdown of who the Sacklers are, including those who have and haven’t been involved in Purdue Pharma:

 ARTHUR SACKLER

Arthur, a doctor and psychiatrist, founded a research laboratory in 1938, but Arthur’s real genius was in marketing and he leveraged it to sell a number of medications, including the anti-anxiety drug, Valium.

He and his younger brothers Mortimer and Raymond owned a small pharma company called Purdue Frederick that they purchased in 1952. That company produced betadine and earwax.

Arthur remained a relatively silent partner in the old Purdue and died in 1987 before it became the company we know it as today.

He never saw any of Purdue’s OxyContin profits. 

He donated the funds to open a number of medical education programs, libraries and museums.

Arthur was inducted into the Medical Marketing Hall of Fame upon his death in 1987. 

After his death in 1987, his brothers bought Arthur’s portion of the company.

One of his four children, daughter Elizabeth, has largely taken over his philanthropy work.

Arthur and his heirs have had no involvement in Purdue Pharma or with OxyContin.   

MORTIMER SACKLER

Mortimer was an American physician and psychiatrist.

He and his brothers, the older Arthur and the younger Raymond published prolific medical research before buying a number of pharmaceutical companies, including, in 1952, Purdue Frederick.

After Arthur’s death Mortimer and Raymond bought out his descendants’ share of Purdue Frederick, and in 1991 they created the company that would become a pain management giant we now know, Purdue Pharma.

Mortimer became a lavish arts patron, known for equally extravagant donations and parties, beginning in the 1970s.

He died in 2010.

 RAYMOND SACKLER 

Raymond was a doctor like his older brothers, and the three were partners in all things until each of their deaths.   

Together with Mortimer, Raymond found success with their opioid painkiller, OxyContin, which became the Purdue Pharma’s signature drug. 

Raymond was milder and more private than his brother, Mortimer.

Raymond had two children, Richard and Jonathan, before his death last year. 

ILENE SACKLER

Mortimer’s eldest daughter with his first wife.   

She was listed as a director of Purdue’s sister company, UK-based Napp Pharamaceutical Holdings, as of December 2016. 

She lives in an apartment in an iconic Upper West Side which she owns.

Its total value is estimated to be more than $122million. 

KATHE SACKLER 

Kathe is one of the directors of Napp, a UK-based company which also sold OxyContin. 

She owns two suburban properties in Connecticut which are separated by another owned by someone else and she lives in an Upper East Side townhouse with her wife, Susan Shack Sackler.

The house was owned by both Raymond and Mortimer. Their children share it. 

Kathe and Ilene had a brother, Robert, is deceased. 

JONATHAN AND RICHARD SACKLER

 They are Raymond and Beverly’s two sons. 

Jonathan and his wife live in Greenwich, Connecticut, in a property next to his mother’s. Richard ‘s former family home is not far away in neighboring Stamford. 

They have a cancer research center named after them at Yale and have both held positions at Purdue.

 RICHARD SACKLER 

Richard Sackler followed in his father’s footsteps, getting his medical degree at New York University School of Medicine. 

He came to Purdue after medical school, leading the research and development that ultimately produced the extended release form of OxyContin that would elevate the family’s fortune to previously unfathomable. 

He became president of Purdue in 1991, pioneering marketing campaigns that enticed droves of medical professionals to buy Purdue’s opioid.

Richard became co-chairman in 2003, by which point $1.6 billion in OxyContin had been sold.  

His marketing schemes sparked suspicion, and in 2015, Richard was deposed before his company paid out a $24 million settlement. 

The company appealed in 2017, but the case has not moved forward. 

In addition to his arts philanthropy, Richard’s foundations have donated to controversial causes, including anti-Muslim groups. 

ELIZABETH SACKLER

Arthur’s daughter has publicly and persistently attempted to distance herself from branch of her family that has profited from OxyContin. 

Elizabeth is a licensed psychiatrist and well-known philanthropist. 

She is the founder of an eponymous Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum in New York. 

She has previously expressed disgrace for her uncles’ business.

 Elizabeth has previously told DailyMail.com: ‘I, nor my siblings, nor my children have ever owned or benefited from Purdue Pharma or OxyContin or oxycodone. 

‘It’s another branch of the family.’

 BEVERLY AND THERESA SACKLER

 Theresa, 69, owns a $45million Upper East Side apartment building but lives mostly in the UK on a 10-acre estate in the Berkshire countryside. 

She is known in the UK as Dame Theresa Sackler, a title she was awarded for her sustained philanthropy and support of the arts.  

Theresa is more visible than her sister-in-law.  

Beverly, 94, is Raymond’s widow. She lives on a Greenwich, Connecticut waterfront estate which has an estimated land and property value of almost $50million. She also owns a 17-floor Fifth Avenue building in Manhattan. 

When her husband was still alive, they donated the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Institute for Biological, Physical and Engineering Sciences at Yale. It now employs 50 people across 20 departments. 

MORTIMER DAVID ALFONS SACKLER

Mortimer the only son of founding brother Mortimer, Mortimer II’s mother is Gertraud Wimmer, Mortimer’s second wife. 

Mortimer David owns a luxury condo building in Boston and lives in New York City with his 42-year-old wife Jacqueline.

The couple are a regular fixture on the Manhattan social circuit. 

DAVID AND JOSS SACKLER

David is intensely private but his wife, Joss, is not. 

She runs the members-only women’s social club, LBV. 

Among its events are group workouts at the model haven gym Dog Pound and talks such as ‘how to have the money talk with your kids.’ 

 

 

 

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