Oxford university is still taking millions from the Sackler family

Oxford University continued to accept cash from a family linked to US opioid deaths, despite an international boycott. Institutions such as the Tate and National Portrait Gallery have already cut financial ties with members of the Sackler family.

But Oxford has been involved with them in the past two years, documents reveal.

The Sacklers own Purdue Pharmaceuticals, which admitted criminal charges over marketing of the drug OxyContin.

The addictive painkiller is widely abused in the US. In 2020, Purdue agreed an $8billion (£6.6billion) settlement over its role.

An outcry prompted most arts and academic institutions funded by the Sacklers to cut ties. They included Scottish universities Edinburgh and Glasgow, Imperial College London, and Yale in the US.

But letters, bank statements and guest lists for prestigious events reveal Oxford’s relationship with Sackler charities.

It has raked in more than £10million since the 1990s, including funding for the Sackler Library – one of its 28 Bodleian Libraries.

Megan Kapler, a Prescription Addiction Intervention Now activist, said: “For institutions to maintain the Sackler name is to be complicit in their death toll, full stop. We would call on Oxford to pay attention to the origin of the money of their benefactors.”

Documents seen by The Financial Times, show in 2021 the Oxford Development Trust received £50,332 from the Sackler Trust for previously pledged research positions.

The university has not applied for donations since 2019.

Cambridge University has not accepted funds since 2015 while the Royal Museums Greenwich said Dame Theresa Sackler’s name would be cut from their list of “major supporters”.

Oxford said it was “reviewing the situation regarding this relationship and the way it is recognised”.

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