The Met Will Stop Accepting Gifts From Makers Of OxyContin

The Metropolitan Museum of Art said it's suspending gifts from the Sackler family, which owns the drugmaker that produces OxyContin.
Posted at 5:20 PM, May 15, 2019

The Metropolitan Museum of Art says it will not take financial support from the owners of the pharmaceutical company that makes OxyContin.

On Wednesday, the Met announced it is suspending accepting gifts from members of the Sackler family. The museum's director said in light of ongoing litigation, it's decided to "suspend acceptance of gifts from individuals associated with this public health crisis."

He's referring to the more than 1,000 legal battles involving Purdue Pharma, which makes OxyContin. Multiple state and local governments have alleged in court the company's marketing practices were deceptive and helped fuel the national opioid epidemic, something Purdue denies

Most recently, Pennsylvania's attorney general filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the opioid-maker, accusing it of downplaying the addictiveness of its painkiller. 

The Sackler family has supported the Met for 50 years. They even have a wing dedicated in their honor. But the museum said the family hasn't proposed any new contributions.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the family said it understands that "accepting gifts at this time would put the Met in a difficult position." 

Other museums in the U.K. and the U.S. have also distanced themselves from accepting further Sackler donations. 

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN