by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
[Bill] Clinton’s statement in response to the CBD trials—conducted by New York University in partnership with TR Processing LLC—included a rather dubious claim about the Clinton Foundation’s role in the opioid epidemic. The Clintons’ controversial so-called charity, which has struggled to raise money after Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential run in 2016, has “worked for years to reduce opioid addiction and deaths,” the former president said. Hence his support for CBD and other “non-addictive alternatives.”
Unfortunately, there are a number of problems with that statement. As the Washington Free Beacon reported in 2016, several members of the notorious Sackler family—the Perdue Pharma dynasty widely considered to be the main culprit of the opioid epidemic—are Clinton Foundation donors.
Dr. Mortimer Sackler, who purchased the company with two of his brothers in 1952, donated between $25,001 and $50,000 prior to his death in 2010. He was not the only member of the opioid dynasty to funnel money to the Clintons. Mortimer’s nephew Jonathan Sackler and sister-in-law Jillian Sackler both donated to Hillary’s failed presidential campaign in 2008.
Perdue Pharma earned billions selling the addictive painkiller OxyContin, which was approved for sale in 1995, during the Clinton administration. Earlier this year, Purdue Pharma agreed to pay a $6 billion settlement for its role in the opioid crisis after persuading several state attorneys general to grant immunity to members of the Sackler family.
In 2015, the Clinton Foundation announced a partnership with Spencer Williamson, the CEO of a pharmaceutical firm that would become the subject of a congressional inquiry for price gouging. Virginia-based Kaleo Pharmaceuticals was widely denounced in 2017 for raising the prices of its Evzio auto-injector device—used to treat opioid overdoses—by 680 percent over three years.