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UConn to redirect donations from opioid maker owners

by ace

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – The University of Connecticut will redirect part of the money received from OxyContin's own family, Purdue Pharma, to support research and education on school grounds, university officials said on Wednesday.

The university, which claims to have received about $ 4.5 million from the Sackler family between 1985 and 2014, will redirect all unspent money except one grant that supports a regenerative engineering lab, spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz said. . Lab funding covers salaries for teamwork that would otherwise have to be cut, she said.

"That would have been unfair to them and the important research they are supporting," she said. "UConn is now in the process of rescheduling the other funds received from Sackler gifts to be used for addiction research and education."

Announcement occurs one week after a AP Review It has revealed that universities around the world have accepted more than $ 60 million from the Sackler family foundations since 2013, even when their families were facing lawsuits related to the opioid crisis. No school has indicated that it has plans to return the money.

UConn's decision to redirect funding follows a similar move at Brown University, which said at the end of September it would direct the remaining Sackler Foundation grants to non-profit groups in Rhode Island dealing with opioid addiction.

UConn's gifts were not detailed in AP's revised tax and charity records and came mainly before 2013. Donations supported research in a wide range of scientific fields, along with various campus art programs.

The university did not immediately report how much funding remains. He planned to make a formal announcement as soon as the money was redirected, said spokesman Mike Enright.

Some schools have said they will stop accepting money from Sacklers, including Yale University, Cornell University and the California Institute of Technology. Brown and the University of Washington said they have no plans to accept gifts in the near future.

Brown spokesman Brian Clark said on Monday that it is the best the school can do, "considering we can't presume to talk about what future generations can do."

The story goes on

Enright said UConn might consider accepting a future gift, whether it's for addiction research or education, or an equally good cause.

Other schools declined this week to say how they would handle future proposals. A statement from McGill University in Montreal on Tuesday said the last donation was received in 2016. "Since then, there have been no further discussions on our side," said spokeswoman Cynthia Lee.

McGill accepted about $ 3.2 million from 2014 to 2016, according to the AP review. The biggest beneficiaries since 2013 were Rockefeller University, with $ 11 million, and Sussex University, England, with about $ 10 million. The University of Sussex said the school has actually received about $ 4 million in the last decade, while another promise "has not been kept."

Some of the donations arrived before recent lawsuits blamed Purdue Pharma for aggravating the opioid crisis, but at least nine schools accepted gifts in 2018 or later, when states and municipalities in the country began blaming Sacklers for Purdue's actions.

Major beneficiaries of Sackler's foundations also included the University of Oxford, England, and Columbia University, New York. In total, at least two dozen universities have received gifts from foundations since 2013, the records show.

Tel Aviv University, which has not responded to previous requests for comment, said Tuesday it considers donations individually and will apply the same policy to Sackler donations, "if and when offered."

Speaking at a 2013 event in recognition of Sacklers, president of Tel Aviv University said The family is "nothing short of a brand name" on campus and that "pretty much every step you take" leads to a unit backed by Sackler funding.

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Binkley reported from Boston.

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Follow Jennifer McDermott on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JenMcDermottAP. Follow Collin Binkley on Twitter at https://twitter.com/cbinkley.

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