Oxford University removes opioid king Sackler name from buildings

The Sackler name will be removed from buildings at Oxford University, the UK institution said, after conducting a review into how the US family’s philanthropic donations are recognised.

The removal follows a wider backlash against the family because of its main source of wealth — the painkiller at the centre of the US opioid crisis.

Its Purdue Pharma drug company has been subject to widespread legal action in the United States over its highly addictive drug OxyContin.

“Following this review, the university has decided that the university buildings, spaces and staff positions using the Sackler name will no longer do so,” Oxford said on Monday.

“These review outcomes have had the full support of the Sackler family and were approved by the University Council on 15 May 2023,” it added.

Oxford said the Sackler name would be kept on donor boards, including at its Ashmolean museum of art and archaeology, to record historical donations to the university.

But it will be removed from two galleries in the Ashmolean, and from a library and three university posts.

“All donations received from the Sackler family and their trusts will be retained by the university for their intended educational purposes,” it added.

“No new donations have been received from either the family or their trusts since January 2019.” (AFP)

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