Is Painkiller Based On A True Story?

By | August 11, 2023

Netflix’s new limited series “Painkiller” has taken the world by storm, shining a light on the dark and complex issue of the opioid crisis in America. The show tells the story of Purdue Pharma, the pharmaceutical company that developed and marketed OxyContin, a powerful opioid painkiller that was responsible for fueling the crisis.

One of the key figures in the “Painkiller” is Richard Sackler, the former president and chairman of Purdue Pharma. Sackler is portrayed as a ruthless businessman who was willing to do anything to make a profit, even if it meant putting people’s lives at risk.

The show is based on the book “Empire of Pain” by Patrick Radden Keefe, which provides a detailed account of the Sackler family’s role in the opioid crisis. The book reveals that the Sacklers were well aware of the addictiveness of OxyContin, but they deliberately downplayed the risks in order to boost sales.


Where is Richard Sackler now?

As a result of their actions, the Sacklers have been accused of contributing to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. However, they have never been charged with any crimes. In 2020, Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges related to its marketing of OxyContin, but the Sacklers were not personally implicated.

The “Painkiller” series has sparked a renewed debate about the Sacklers and their responsibility for the opioid crisis. The show has been praised for its accuracy and its portrayal of Sackler as a villain. However, some critics have argued that the show is too sympathetic to the Sacklers and does not adequately explore the role of other factors, such as the overprescribing of opioids by doctors, in the crisis.

Despite its flaws, the “Painkiller” series is an important and timely piece of television. It raises important questions about the pharmaceutical industry and the role of greed in the opioid crisis. The show is a must-watch for anyone who wants to understand the crisis and the people who are responsible for it.


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