Online pages relating to a research unit named after a controversial US pharmaceutical billionaires have apparently been removed from the website of a Scots university.
The Sackler family donated millions of dollars to cultural and scientific good causes around the world but have been disgraced after their drugs firm was fuelling an opioid epidemic in the US which has claimed the lives of more than 400,000 people.
Edinburgh University accepted large philanthropic donations from the Sacklers and named a research unit after them but The Sackler Centre for Developmental Psychobiology’s page on the university website was down last week. The university would only say a name change was still under consideration.
The apparent decision to take the pages down came after the University of Glasgow removed the Sackler name from a research facility at the neurosciences building at the NHS flagship Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.
They removed the sign after The Post revealed criticism over NHS Scotland saluting the shamed pharma clan accused of using philanthropy to clean their reputation. Pages hailing Mortimer Sackler, one of the founders of the pharmaceutical firm Purdue, who studied medicine at Glasgow and received an honorary degree in 2001, remain available on the university’s website.
The family made an estimated $8 billion from the highly addictive painkiller OxyContin which was unlawfully marketed in the US as safer than alternative drugs by Purdue.
Miles Briggs MSP said: “Glasgow University has dropped the Sackler name and Edinburgh University must now break its silence and confirm that it is following suit. Clearly there is growing pressure to act.”
Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine said: “Keeping the Sackler name sends the wrong message.”
The University of Edinburgh has previously confirmed the name is under consideration.
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