"Watching you testify makes my blood boil. I'm not sure that I'm aware of any family in America that's more evil than yours."
Reading Keefe's book brings me to the same place.
In that Congressional hearing, the two Sacklers (Kathe representing the "A Side," descendants of the middle of the original three brothers who started the company; David representing the corporate "B Side," descendants of the youngest of the three original Sacklers) had just told Rep. Cooper and the other members of the committee, in sometimes testy tones and always with a billionaire's aplomb, an inability to read the room, that they did not know that OxyContin was addictive, that they had not and never would do anything wrong in the making and marketing of any medication, and why are you people persecuting the inventors of a medical miracle for pain control?
Keefe reports opinions that Richard Sackler, the inventor and prime marketer of OxyContin, simply lacked empathy. Had no understanding of and hence no sympathy for the suffering of others. If you're looking for a mortal flaw in not just Richard Sackler but in the whole corporate enterprise, "lack of empathy" will suffice. (We've had plenty of experience very recently with that type of human being.)
Hulu's "Dopesick" First Made Me Curious About the Sacklers
|Michael Stuhlbarg as Richard Sackler,
in the Hulu series "Dopesick"
After watching the Hulu series (with Stuhlbarg's malign mystery as Richard Sackler), I got my hands on Macy's bestseller first (hattip JDG), hoping she was the source about the Sacklers. But, no, Macy's book is strictly reportage about the people of southwest Virginia touched by the opioid epidemic, particularly the families of the dead. In the TV series, the Michael Keaton character (the doctor who himself gets addicted) and the young woman coal miner and her family -- those are made up amalgamations of many people Macy had known, or known about. Meanwhile the Sacklers barely get a mention, nor do the various government lawyers dogging them and amassing a case against them, like the lawyers out of the Western District of Virginia and the FDA official played by Rosario Dawson. Macy's book goes into none of that, but Patrick Keefe does.