The Sackler Trust has suspended new charitable donations in the UK after allegations linking the Sackler family to the opioid crisis in the US.
The trust is a major funder of arts and education and members of the Sackler family own Purdue Pharma which make the opioid painkiller OxyContin. The Tate to the National Portrait Gallery have recently rejected donations from the trust following the controversy.
Chair of The Sackler Trust, Dame Theresa Sackler, released the following statement on behalf of the trustees:
‘I am deeply saddened by the addiction crisis in America and support the actions Purdue Pharma is taking to help tackle the situation, whilst still rejecting the false allegations made against the company and several members of the Sackler family.
‘The current press attention that these legal cases in the United States is generating has created immense pressure on the scientific, medical, educational and arts institutions here in the UK, large and small, that I am so proud to support. This attention is distracting them from the important work that they do.
‘The Trustees of the Sackler Trust have taken the difficult decision to temporarily pause all new philanthropic giving, while still honouring existing commitments.
I remain fully committed to all the causes the Sackler Trust supports, but at this moment it is the better course for the Trust to halt all new giving until we can be confident that it will not be a distraction for institutions that are applying for grants.’