Jillian Sackler
Jillian Sackler

Rubenstein Communications represents philanthropist Jillian Sackler, widow of the late Dr. Arthur Sackler, one of three brothers who founded Purdue Pharma, maker of prescription painkiller OxyContin.

Arthur Sackler died in 1987, a decade before OxyContin, which is front and center in the opioid crisis, was developed.

Following Sackler's death, heirs sold his third of a stake in Purdue to his brothers Mortimer and Raymond.

Activists have targeted the entire Sackler family for making money on the opioid crisis.

Artist Nan Goldin, for instance, staged an opioid protest on March 11 at the Metropolitan Museum's Temple of Dendur, which was funded by a $3.4M donation from the Sacklers.

About 100 protestors tossed pill bottles labeled "prescribed to you by the Sackler Family" into the moat surrounding the temple, according to a report in the Guardian.

Rubenstein's mission is to set that record straight.

"Naturally, my client is deeply troubled about the publication of any misinformation wrongly communicating to the public that she, Arthur M. Sackler or his heirs have financially profited from the sale of OxyContin, when, in fact, they have not," Janet Wootten, Rubenstein senior VP, wrote in an email. 

The PR firm prepared a fact sheet and press statement to clear up misleading coverage.

It reads: "We bring to your attention that such discussion concerning Purdue and OxyContin has incorrectly and misleadingly lumped together brothers Arthur, Mortimer and Raymond Sackler (and their heirs), under a single “Sackler family” umbrella, when, in fact, Arthur M. Sackler and his heirs have never had a financial interest in the sale of OxyContin.  Misinformation and confusion on this point requires prompt correction and clarification."

Rubenstein says the New York Times, Time, Washington Post, Economist, CNN and Associated Press are among outlets that have published corrections and clarifications to note that Arthur Sackler and his heirs have no financial interest in the sale of OxyContin.