Ben Oliver


Empire of Pain

The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty
07 September 2023

A detailed history of the Sackler family, a clan of pill pushers who significantly worsened the opioid crisis in the USA through their miracle pain killer - oxycontin.

An astonishing account of greed spanning several generations, right to the present day. It’s fascinating to read how one man’s ingenious (despicable) marketing tactics spawned a whole public health crisis that claimed thousands of lives.

The formula is simple: if you own a drug company and also secretly own a marketing firm adept at pushing drugs, then you can sell whatever you like to the public. Simply bribe officials at the FDA and away you go. If you really want to make serious cash, make the drug as addictive as possible.

A thoroughly researched piece of work that is incredible in its breadth. I’ve seen Dopesick and read around the subject in the past, but never before has the role of the actual family been laid out so clearly.

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