Drug money

From the Forbes list of the richest U.S. families:

SacklersThe richest newcomer to Forbes 2015 list of America’s Richest Families comes in at a stunning $14 billion. The Sackler family, which owns Stamford, Conn.-based Purdue Pharma, flew under the radar when Forbes launched its initial list of wealthiest families in July 2014, but this year they crack the top-20, edging out storied families like the Busches, Mellons and Rockefellers.

How did the Sacklers build the 16th-largest fortune in the country? The short answer: making the most popular and controversial opioid of the 21st century — OxyContin.

It’s worth noting that this wealth was amassed with a drug whose marketing resulted in $635,000,000 of fines and lawsuits are still pending. The total cost of fines and lawsuits is expected to reach $1,000,000,000. In pure financial terms, it still looks like a pretty good deal. That seems like a problem, no?