Netflix’s New Drama Series ‘Painkiller’ Sheds Light on OxyContin and Purdue Pharma’s Role in the Opioid Crisis
Streaming giant Netflix has recently premiered a gripping drama series called ‘Painkiller’, which offers an insightful retelling of the emergence of OxyContin in the United States during the 1990s. The series is centered around the controversial rise of Richard Sackler’s Purdue Pharma business amidst the country’s ongoing opioid crisis.
Purdue Pharma, the pharmaceutical company behind OxyContin, has been embroiled in numerous lawsuits and fines due to their involvement in misleading the public about the highly addictive nature of the drug. In 2007, they were slapped with a hefty $600 million fine for their deceptive practices. ‘Painkiller’ sheds light on these events while presenting a fictionalized account of the company’s expansion.
The highly-anticipated series features a star-studded cast, including Matthew Broderick in the pivotal role of Richard Sackler. Broderick, renowned for his performances in classic films such as ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ and his voice work in ‘The Lion King’, brings his undeniable talent to portray the controversial pharmaceutical magnate. Uzo Aduba, known for her acclaimed role in ‘Orange Is The New Black’, masterfully embodies the lawyer Edie Flowers, who spearheads the investigation into the drug.
Taylor Kitsch, who previously collaborated with director Peter Berg on ‘Friday Night Lights’, takes on the compelling role of Glen Kryger, a victim directly affected by the drug’s devastating consequences. The series also introduces West Duchovny as Shannon Schaeffer, a saleswoman at Purdue Pharma, and Dina Shihabi as her mentor, Britt Hufford. Their performances bring depth and complexity to the narrative.
Other notable cast members include Tyler Ritter as US Attorney John Brownlee, Carolina Bartczak as Lily Kryger, Glen’s wife, and Clark Gregg, widely recognized as Agent Phil Coulson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, portraying Arthur Sackler, the founder of Purdue Pharma.
‘Painkiller’ is rooted in real events, chronicling Richard Sackler’s aggressive efforts to promote OxyContin, Edie Flowers’ relentless pursuit of justice, and the harrowing impact of the drug on victims like Glen Kryger and his family. The series probes the actions of Purdue Pharma during the opioid crisis, raising important questions about accountability and responsibility.
As viewers delve into the provocative story, ‘Painkiller’ prompts us to reflect on the devastating consequences of OxyContin, while shedding light on the actions of Purdue Pharma during this dark period in American history. With its outstanding ensemble cast and thought-provoking narrative, the series promises to captivate audiences and ignite conversations about the ongoing opioid crisis.
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