Tufts University has announced it will remove the Sackler family name from various departments and entities that were named in honor of the longtime donors, The Guardian reports. The Massachusetts university was a beneficiary of the Sacklers, the billionaire family that has faced lawsuits over their role in the opioid crisis due to their ownership of Purdue Pharma—the maker of OxyContin. The Sackler name will be removed from multiple science and medical departments at Tufts, like the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences and the Arthur M. Sackler Center for Medical Education. The names of certain university funds, like the Sackler Families Fund for Collaborative Cancer Biology Research, will also be revised.
In a statement, the school said students, faculty, and staff have noted the “negative impact the Sackler name has on them each day.” An attorney for the Sackler family called the move “disturbing” and “intellectually dishonest.” “We will be seeking to have this improper decision reversed and are currently reviewing all options available to us,” the lawyer said. The widow of Arthur Sackler claimed her husband had “nothing to do with OxyContin” and said she was saddened to see her late spouse “blamed for actions taken by his brothers and other OxySacklers.”