At the time that the 2011 report was written, Ms. Christopher was president of the Center for Practical Bioethics, a nonprofit based in Kansas City, Mo. Purdue gave $934,770 to the organization that year. Asked about the funding, John Carney, a former chief executive at the center, sent an opinion article that stated the group’s donors did not dictate any of its work. Ms. Christopher declined to comment.
The 2011 report, which allowed pharmaceutical companies to argue that doctors should prescribe more opioids, came out even as the White House announced a very different message — that the nation was facing an opioid addiction crisis.
Soon after the National Academies report was issued, Dr. Andrew Kolodny, president of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, emailed the institution and asked whether it would disclose that Ms. Christopher’s organization had received funds from Purdue.
“No, sorry, can’t do that,” Clyde Behney, an official with the Academies replied in an email in August 2011 reviewed by The New York Times. “Keep in mind that the report is done and released, so the future is more important than the past.”
Mr. Behney declined to comment. In a statement, the National Academies said it published an article in JAMA to explain how the committee arrived at the estimate that 100 million Americans were in pain. And the article, by Dr. Victor Dzau, president of the National Academy of Medicine, said that “conflict of interest is not an issue for the authors of the report,” who he said were carefully vetted. The JAMA article made no mention of Sackler family donations.