Lawmakers help set U.S. precedent, resolution calls for removal of opioid developer's name from Smithsonian
News Release from Rep Cynthia Thielen March 1, 2019
HONOLULU – Issuing a bold public statement, the Hawaii Legislature today introduced House Concurrent Resolution 31, urging the immediate removal of the Sackler name from the Washington, D.C.-based Smithsonian Institute. The Sackler family is held largely responsible for our current opioid epidemic – the No. 1 killer in our nation.
Prescription painkiller OxyContin – a brand name for opioid drug oxycodone – was developed and knowingly marketed with false information to physicians and the public by the Sackler family-owned Purdue Pharma. Among the lies that the campaign promoted was that the drug was safe and non-addictive.
The bipartisan resolution was drafted by Representative Cynthia Thielen and introduced by House Health Committee Chair John Mizuno. Its primary sponsors include Speaker of the House Scott Saiki, Vice Speaker Mark Nakashima and Finance Committee Chair Sylvia Luke.
Today's resolution follows on the heels of House Bill 1602, which was also drafted by Thielen and enacted into law in 2018. It requires that a warning label is placed on all opioid prescription bottles alerting patients about addiction and overdosing.
"I'm proud to possibly be the first state in the USA to introduce a resolution that is bipartisan and steeped in common sense, and we are committed to a continuing and strengthening fight in this matter," Thielen said. "Keeping the tarnished Sackler name on this building on our National Mall sends a terrible message to the countless number of families devastated by this product."
Opioid overdoses claim more lives each year than motor vehicle accidents and gun violence.
Earlier this year, the Smithsonian Institute's spokesperson told an outraged public that because of Dr. Sackler's "generous gift" of monies, it expects to keep the Sackler name.
HCR31: Text, Status