Where Is Richard Sackler From Netflix’s ‘Painkiller’ Now?


The new Netflix series Painkiller explores the story behind the U.S. opioid epidemic, looking at how Oxycontin was originally produced and how it became so popular.

It also dives into how Richard Sackler, a doctor and president of Purdue Pharma, was reportedly aware of the prescription medication’s highly addictive nature—and produced the drug anyway.

On the show, Matthew Broderick plays the role of Sackler. Unlike the character of Edie Flowers or Shannon Schaeffer, Sackler is an actual, real person.

So, who is Richard Sackler, and where is he now? Here’s what you need to know.

What type of doctor is Richard Sackler?

Richard Sackler is an M.D.—he earned it from the New York University School of Medicine, according to the Yale School of Medicine, where Sackler and his family later became donors.

What did Richard Sackler do?

As Painkiller explains, Richard’s role in the opioid crisis was investigated by a team of lawyers. They alleged that he and other officials at Purdue Pharma were aware of Oxycontin’s highly addictive nature, but produced and sold it anyway.

Susan Stevens carries her daughter Toria’s ashes around her neck since she died of an opioid overdose in 2018.

Pacific Press//Getty Images

Did the Sackler family get immunity?

Richard and his family agreed in 2022 to pay up to $6 billion to resolve litigation that alleged that they fueled the opioid epidemic, according to Reuters. The family agreed to pay at least $5.5 billion in cash.

The money will be used to help alleviate the drug crisis that has led to nearly 500,000 U.S. opioid overdose deaths over two decades.

The Sackler family said in a statement that they “sincerely regret” that OxyContin “unexpectedly became part of an opioid crisis.” The statement continued to say that the Sackler family acted lawfully, but a settlement was the best way to help resolve a “serious and complex public health crisis.”

Random House Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America’s Opioid Epidemic

Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America's Opioid Epidemic

Random House Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America’s Opioid Epidemic

The deal was announced after weeks of mediation with the Sackler family. As the series points out, Richard and his other family members have not been criminally charged with how they handled Oxycontin.

Does Richard Sackler still work for Purdue Pharma?

Purdue Pharma announced in 2021 that it would rebrand itself as Knoa Pharma, The New York Times reports. Today, it’s overseen by a public board.

tufts removes sackler name from buildings, programs

In 2019, Tufts University in Boston became the first major university to strip the Sackler name from buildings and programs.

Boston Globe//Getty Images

What is Richard Sackler’s net worth?

Richard’s net worth is estimated to be $1 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth. The Sackler family is thought to be worth more than $11 billion.

Where is Richard Sackler now?

According to Esquire, Richard now lives in a $1.7 million house in Boca Raton, Florida.

Headshot of Korin Miller

Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more. She has a master’s degree from American University, lives by the beach, and hopes to own a teacup pig and taco truck one day.

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