Sackler was the last survivor among three brothers — all psychiatrist sons of Brooklyn grocers — whose scientific and marketing skills transformed a tiny Greenwich Village company founded in the 19th century into a global pharmaceutical giant known as Purdue Pharma, now headquartered in Stamford, Conn.
Under a marketing strategy that Arthur Sackler had pioneered decades earlier, the company aggressively pressed doctors to prescribe the drug, wooing them with free trips to pain-management seminars and paid speaking engagements.
In 2007, the company agreed to pay $600 million to resolve the federal charges, although its executives insisted that they had adequately informed doctors and consumers about the potential for drug abuse and had responded quickly to reports of overdose deaths.
Sackler married the former Beverly Feldman, who survives him.
Before developing OxyContin, the company, in 1984, created MS Contin, an extended-release, morphine-based drug to relieve cancer pain.