Dopesick (2021) s01e01 Episode Script

First Bottle

1 ‐ The time has come to redefine the nature of pain.
For too long, the American medical community has been ignoring chronic pain.
And this has created an epidemic of suffering.
When we live with pain, we are not living our true selves.
We are not living our best selves.
We're not even living at all, because the pain overtakes our ability to think, feel.
Even to love.
As you all know, when our patent for MS Contin expires, it will deliver a significant blow to the company, because it comprises 25% of our sales.
However, I have a solution.
I propose we take the extended time‐release of the Contin system and create a new opioid specifically designed to treat moderate pain for long‐term use.
‐ I don't see doctors prescribing an opioid for long‐term pain.
‐ You don't chase a market.
You create it.
Please, Richard tell me more.
Thank you, Uncle Arthur.
Peterson, please tell the grand jury, when did you first hear about OxyContin? Um, it was around the summer of 1996.
A sales rep from Purdue Pharma told me that they had a new drug that was very effective in combating pain.
‐ "Pain" was becoming a big buzzword at the time.
There was a nationwide movement to rethink the treatment of pain.
‐ Did Purdue Pharma spearhead this campaign? ‐ I believe they did.
‐ I don't know if it was them in particular, but their sales reps brought it up repeatedly.
‐ The sales rep said the drug was different because it was basically nonaddictive.
Had you ever heard of a nonaddictive opioid? ‐ No, sir, I had not.
‐ And did he tell you what percentage of patients became addicted? ‐ That was the key to the whole sales pitch.
‐ He said less than 1% became addicted.
‐ Less than 1% would become addicted to OxyContin.
‐ He said less than 1%.
He called it a miracle drug.
‐ Dr.
Finnix, did more than 1% of your patients become addicted to OxyContin? Dr.
‐ I can't believe how many of them are dead now.
Doing good, Bets? ‐ Fine, Dad.
I put this rooster tail on, or, as I call it, my lucky rooster tail.
I've been working this pool for at least an hour.
Not even a nibble, and I'm starting to think, "Well, my lucky rooster tail probably isn't so lucky.
" Jack, this is from when you fell, right? ‐ Yeah.
And all of a sudden, this thing falls down to the bottom, and I feel this tug.
And I'm pulling, and I'm pulling, and I'm pulling on this thing.
Lift your‐‐lift your arms up for a minute.
I'm just gonna give you Tylenol.
Take two three times a day.
It's healing nicely.
‐ So how am I gonna pick my nose now? ‐ Use that hand.
‐ ‐ Now, this fish was this big.
Duane's a bullshitter.
It's not unusual that it hasn't happened yet.
You're 14.
Don't worry about it.
For some girls, it can happen when they're 11.
Others, 17.
‐ It's just embarrassing.
‐ There's nothing to be embarrassed about.
Easy for me to say.
I never thought that poor girl was gonna stop crying.
Did you tell her it's gonna mess up a few days a month for the next 40 years? Heh, I figured I'd let her discover that herself.
You got plans Friday night? We're having a potluck at my Aunt Clara's.
Be the best soul food you ever ate.
Oh, that's sweet.
I got plans, though, honey.
‐ No, you don't.
I'm telling you, I didn't forget.
‐ I belie‐‐ I just want to check.
‐ Ugh, I‐‐you come to my house every night, and I take my pills all the time.
I don't know why you bother me.
I don't know why you come every night.
‐ Ah, yeah, see? Looks like you forgot some.
‐ I did? ‐ Yeah, you left a few.
Really? Oh.
‐ Yeah.
Let me get you some water.
‐ Well, I‐‐ It's all right.
That's all right.
I thought sure I took them this morning.
I mean, I take them every day.
Hey, everybody forgets sometimes.
There you go.
‐ All right, well, you don't have to bother me tomorrow.
I'll remember.
‐ Okay, okay.
I won't bother you.
I just want to make sure you're gonna take them now.
‐ Uh‐‐ ‐ Okay, okay.
All right.
I'm not gonna bother you anymore.
‐ All right, honey.
See you.
‐ Heya, Deskin.
How's your back? ‐ Same.
‐ You gotta try acupuncture.
Really works.
‐ That some sort of lesbo voodoo? ‐ Yeah.
After your first session, you'll finally get to eat some pussy.
‐ Grace, please refrain from that kind of language around my daughter.
‐ Sorry, Jer.
Next time, I'll say "vagina.
" Dear Lord, please, uh, we give thanks for this good food that You've provided us.
Please, uh, protect my beautiful wife, precious daughter, and, of course, our beloved neighbor Mrs.
Blevins from harm.
And, uh, please keep the mine open so we can continue to enjoy this good food.
In Jesus' name, we pray.
‐ You gonna finish your quilt this weekend? ‐ Yeah, I only have a few more squares left.
This one's really nice.
‐ Thanks.
I like it.
‐ And I heard you got a little wound up by that lesbian girl today.
‐ It's still illegal to swear in public in the commonwealth, last I heard.
‐ I work with a lesbian at the textile mill.
‐ Mrs.
Blevins, the textile mill closed down ten years ago.
‐ Oh.
That's right.
Wait a minute.
Patricia Bellinger was a lesbian? ‐ Dear, everyone knew that.
‐ I knew she was when I was ten.
She's a tough broad.
I need to have a catch‐up whiskey with her.
‐ Well, Patricia passed the‐‐ To‐‐yeah, she's tough, all right.
Sure is.
‐ She sounds a lot like Grace.
She's tougher than any guy at the mine.
‐ So are you.
You're the smallest one there and probably the strongest.
Well, bless their hearts.
I'm gonna pray for both of them tonight.
‐ Bets.
I wouldn't get too friendly with that Grace girl.
Management doesn't care much for her.
‐ Yeah, okay.
I'll definitely steer clear of her.
‐ Coming up next, uh, Mr.
Chris Madison, who's running for Congress in this district.
Uh, come on up here, Chris.
‐ I would be honored to represent this district in Congress.
Now, I know the jobs haven't come back like we'd hoped, but I will do everything I can to make sure the mines stay open and jobs come back.
Aren't you that miner girl? ‐ Yeah.
‐ I heard you're tough.
Are you tough? ‐ Maybe.
‐ Maybe? ‐ Depends.
‐ Depends? On what? ‐ I don't know.
‐ You don't know? Well.
Now, we all know you're trying to steal a husband in that mine.
Don't ever forget, we got our eyes on you.
‐ Yes, ma'am.
I‐I won't forget.
I got some good news for you.
My mama said she was gonna pray for you.
Well, bless her heart.
All right.
Cable's good, Eddie.
All right, Bets.
Hold on! ‐ All right, let's all‐‐ My back! My back! Be okay.
Ah, it's my back! Get up! ‐ Betsy? Try to get her up.
Betsy? Well, before you fly back, you have to see Master Class.
It's fabulous.
‐ I don't know.
I hated McNally's last play.
‐ Really? It won the Tony.
‐ Yes.
Gay men running around naked onstage for three hours.
How could it not? Hello, Uncle Mortimer.
I didn't know you were flying in.
‐ Well, I had to, didn't I? ‐ Richie, can I talk to you for a second? ‐ Do you find it odd your stepmother is a year younger than you? She's not as bad as the last two.
So I wanted to tell you that, um, I'm gonna have to speak up tonight, and I didn't want to blindside you.
‐ Okay.
I'll see you in there.
Please tell Dr.
Raymond Sackler that the holders of "A shares" are greatly concerned with the significant overspending by his son in the development of this new product.
‐ Dr.
Sackler, there's great concern that your son, Richard, has spent more than $40 million in the development of this new‐‐ ‐ Ten times more than what we've spent on anything.
‐ As stated by Mortimer's son, Mortimer D.
, there is great concern among "A shareholders"‐‐ ‐ You have literally placed this entire company in jeopardy.
‐ Please tell Dr.
Mortimer Sackler that "B shares," who, last I checked, have the same voting power as "A shares," are honored he flew in from his self‐imposed exile in Switzerland and we hope his unpatriotic tax‐dodging continues to be successful.
It has! ‐ Now, I understand his confusion about the development process, since he has never built a single thing in his life, but advise him that once the drug is launched, it will make his children, who cash checks generated by "B shares," significantly wealthier than they are now.
Uncle Raymond, I resent the implication that we're all dilettantes.
My apologies, Kathe.
We all know you're an invaluable part of the company.
‐ Thank you.
But "A shares" are rightfully concerned that if OxyContin doesn't sell or if it runs afoul of the FDA or if insurance companies stop covering it for whatever reason, it could literally sink this entire company.
Richard, I respect how hard you work.
I really do, but this family has had a successful company for 40 years, and now it's at risk.
You vastly overspent, and it's not unreasonable that we would be upset and anxious.
‐ It'll work.
I promise you.
Thank you.
Tell my nephew it fucking better.
‐ Samuel, I see you're making the rounds today.
They're trying to make the good pastor fat with all this delicious desserts out here today.
‐ And a little too much sugar there for you.
‐ Hey, Doc.
I want you to cut back on that Tylenol PM.
Just a few days a week.
Hey, Bets.
Heard you took a pretty good lick the other day.
Your back.
Why didn't you come see me? ‐ I keep telling her to.
Why don't you show him your back? ‐ No, no.
It's‐‐it's nothing.
I'm fine.
‐ Hey, Doc.
Give her some Vicodin.
Maybe a couple for me too.
‐ Shut the hell up! ‐ What do you think caused so many deaths over such a short period of time? ‐ You too, young lady.
You take it easy, all right? ‐ I know, Doc.
‐ OxyContin.
‐ So just to be clear, you're blaming numerous deaths in your town on just one medication.
Yes, sir.
I am.
‐ And are you the individual that prescribed this medication? ‐ Yes, sir.
I did.
‐ Mr.
Brownlee, you're early.
‐ I'm always early.
Great to meet ya.
‐ Randy Ramseyer.
John Brownlee.
‐ Rick Mountcastle.
‐ Well, hey, uh, congrats on your new appointment, sir.
You know, we would have been happy to drive up to Roanoke.
‐ Ah, that's okay.
I wanted to see the branch office.
‐ Yeah, well, it's, uh‐‐ it sure is impressive, isn't it? You know, we even churn our own butter.
‐ So how'd you end up in Abingdon? ‐ Well, I got a, uh‐‐ a clerkship with a judge at the state courthouse just down the block, and this job came open.
He‐‐he, uh‐‐he tried to talk me out of it.
Told me I'd be broke my whole life, but I thought, "What the hell?" And, you know, honestly, it's the best decision I ever made, 'cause I love working all the different kinds of cases and learning new things.
It's, uh‐‐it's what makes life interesting.
‐ What about you, Rick? How'd you end up here? ‐ I just came here to serve justice, sir.
We got multiple bank fraud cases, illegal arms, racketeering, federal health care kickback.
‐ Okay, yeah, that all sounds good.
Look, here's what I drove two hours to say to you face‐to‐face: I'm not afraid of risk, not afraid to rattle the cages, I'm not afraid to lose if we're on the side of the righteous.
And I want you not to be afraid to think big.
Took this job to get things done.
And when I leave here, I'm gonna hit the road, I'm gonna tell every sheriff that I meet that if they've got someone in their community that is violent, that's a predator, for whatever reason, the state won't get it done, bring it to us, and we'll throw that son of a bitch in jail, 'cause we sure as hell are gonna get it done.
‐ Yes, sir.
All right.
You guys holding out on me? ‐ Um Well, it's still very early, but we've begun looking at something that could be big.
‐ Mm, what are we talking about? ‐ OxyContin.
Specifically Purdue Pharma.
That's the company that makes it.
They've been marketing the drug and pushing it on doctors as something that's nonaddictive, when it clearly is.
‐ Has any other U.
attorney pursued? ‐ No, sir.
Civil litigation? What is it, 65 cases? ‐ And how many has Purdue won? ‐ 65.
‐ Yeah.
Well, going after a publicly traded company is a pretty steep hill to climb.
‐ They're not publicly traded; it's privately owned by a single family, the Sackler family.
‐ Sacklers.
They're big philanthropists, right? Oh, yeah.
Yeah, they give lots of money to museums and schools.
Rich‐person stuff.
‐ Very rich.
So what do you guys got that no other U.
attorney in the country is onto? ‐ Well, about four months ago, I was reviewing our caseload when I noticed an unusual pattern.
Almost every case over the last three years, uh, was related to OxyContin.
Nearly every one.
Illegal drug sales, theft, armed robbery, job abandonment.
‐ I mean, it has transformed the entire district.
Jails are suddenly full.
Violent crime is running rampant.
Uh, you know, for the last 200 years, folks around here didn't even lock their doors.
Didn't even think about it.
Now, starting three years ago ‐ Everyone locks their doors.
It's the single highest source of crime in the entire region.
Well, look, if you guys want to go after a billion‐dollar company from a strip mall, you're gonna need more evidence than you can fit in this entire building.
No other U.
attorney wants to touch this thing.
That means it's gonna take something significant to make it work.
You have to prove the heads of this company know that they're lying about the dangers of the drug and that they're selling it anyway.
‐ Well, we believe that very well may be the case.
‐ Since I've been on this new medication, I haven't missed one day of work.
This frees me up.
And it helps with my anxiety.
You can just take the medicine and go.
I can take walks with my husband.
And I can go swimming.
All because of the pain medicine.
Rick? Rick! Would you get up here? ‐ Uh‐huh.
Thank You, Lord, for this meal, and allowing us to enjoy it together.
‐ Amen.
‐ Amen.
‐ You working on that pharma thing? ‐ Yeah.
Napkin in your lap.
But it's tricky.
Uh, we'll be outspent by millions.
And, uh, I'm looking at it, you know, and there's just‐‐ There is something there.
It's just, uh, I can't quite find a way to get at it.
I don't even know what to charge them with.
‐ Hmm.
Digging through a mountain down there, and I just can't find‐‐ can't find a way at it.
‐ Well, what does the new, handsome boss think? ‐ He's ambitious, so he likes it, if we can find something to get it going.
‐ Aren't all U.
attorneys ambitious? ‐ Wow.
She must really think he's handsome.
Maybe this is the perfect opportunity for you to take on something big that might scare off someone who isn't as ambitious.
‐ Well ‐ The DEA was actively investigating Purdue last year.
‐ What's the status of the investigation? ‐ About six months ago, the DEA basically ended it.
No fines, no charges.
From what I can tell, very few actions taken at all.
‐ And she's Diversion? Yeah.
This is Bridget Meyer.
She's the deputy director of the Diversion Division.
‐ Mm‐hmm.
‐ Try and say that three times fast.
You think she's gonna tell us what happened? ‐ No.
You know, I had to call her four times just to get this meeting.
She, uh‐‐she's got an edge.
‐ All right, guys, I don't have a lot of time, so what do you want? ‐ Well, we know about your investigation into Purdue, and we were hoping to find out what you uncovered, why it abruptly ended.
Did you find evidence that they were illegally promoting the drug? ‐ Is there a reason you're not answering the question? ‐ Anything with the DOJ is a waste of time.
So is that it? 'Cause like I said, I'm really busy.
I know.
I know.
How can a couple hicks from rural Virginia take on a massive company like Purdue Pharma? You know, Rick here is former army, so he's been all over the place, seen lots of different countries.
Been to France? ‐ Argentina.
‐ Argentina.
‐ South Korea.
See? And I even wore my fancy no‐lace shoes.
It'd sure be nice if you could just have a reasonable conversation with us.
‐ "Delayed absorption, as provided by OxyContin tablets, is believed to reduce the abuse liability of a drug.
" Barely makes sense.
That fucking label caused everything.
‐ How so? It was the first time the FDA labeled a Class II narcotic as less addictive.
‐ Now, how does that even happen? ‐ That's a great fucking question.
‐ Well, did you investigate the approval process for the label? ‐ See, that seems like a yes to me.
‐ Yeah, it definitely seems like a yes.
‐ Mm‐hmm.
‐ I couldn't charge anything.
It's a challenge in this case.
Purdue has so many levels of deniability: patient abuse, doctor malpractice.
Did the heads of the company know it was false when they marketed the drug as being nonaddictive? ‐ Thanks for coming in, guys.
Um, I've got a call with my divorce lawyer, and I always need to calm down before I talk to her.
‐ I understand.
‐ Thank you for your time.
‐ You know, a few months ago, we caught a doctor selling pills out of his car to an 11‐year‐old girl.
And when we arrested him, he thanked us.
He told us he couldn't have stopped on his own.
And at that moment, we knew that what we got going on in coal country is similar to San Francisco at the start of the AIDS crisis, that our community is ground zero for a growing national catastrophe.
‐ We're gonna do everything we can to hold someone accountable.
It might just end this thing.
So if you change your mind, we'd love to talk to you.
I found my life again, and it's worth living now.
I'm so grateful.
Since I have been on this pain medication, I have not missed one day of work.
‐ I‐I can't say enough good things about this pain medication that, uh, allows me to get work done, and that's‐‐that's something I didn't think I would ever be able to do again.
It's just changed my life for the better.
‐ Since I've been taking this new pain medication, I've not missed a day of work.
And it takes the anxiety away.
You can just take the medicine and go.
‐ Because of this pain medication, I enjoy my life again, 'cause there was so much that was just missing from it.
I got my life back.
Seems like a typical promotional video, with patient testimonials extolling the virtues of the drug.
There's just one very unusual thing here is that they almost never mention OxyContin by name.
They say "pain medicine" or "drug therapy" or, uh, "time‐release pill.
" But you got all these people twisting themselves into knots not to say "OxyContin" in a video promoting OxyContin.
Just doesn't make much sense to me.
‐ Do you think they weren't really on it? I don't know.
I'd like to found out.
‐ Well, if they weren't, then Purdue deliberately sent a promotional video to 15,000 doctors stating these patients were on a drug that they weren't actually taking.
That's right.
‐ And this video is the first major introduction of OxyContin.
Hey, Jennifer.
I think your husband here needs some new glasses.
He's the worst referee in the entire state.
‐ You lost by 20, Marge.
It's not my husband's fault your team sucks balls.
‐ Oh, baby.
I'm sorry about that.
‐ Mm.
‐ You know, you don't have to come to these things if you don't want to.
‐ What? Watching you get screamed at by everyone is the highlight of my week.
‐ Hey, babe.
You hang on one second? I'll be right back.
‐ $50 for a blow job.
$100 if you want to fuck me.
‐ You need to get to a hospital immediately.
‐ Fuck off.
You need to make sure you‐‐ I have some concerns about the sales force.
I think it's too small.
If we're gonna launch in a big way, we need to double it.
‐ The board is very concerned about how much we've already spent.
‐ And the board doesn't seem to understand I'm trying to make this a blockbuster drug, which I can't do without more sales reps.
‐ Uh, Dr.
Richard, with all these new sales reps, we won't even have enough doctors for them to target.
‐ IMS is about to release a 3.
0 version that tracks daily prescriptions instead of quarterly.
So if we double our sales force, we can use this data to target doctors prescribing Lortab and Vicodin and flip them to OxyContin.
‐ The upgrade is a million dollars.
‐ Do you know who created the IMS database? Arthur Sackler.
It's been kept secret for years, but this is a family invention that was sold off years ago.
And now you're telling me we should deny all this data that only exists because of my fucking uncle? Purchase the upgrade, and increase the sales force.
Thank you.
I need you to stop thinking like my cousins And start thinking about how we can cure the world of its pain.
Thank you.
Thank you.
‐ I prefer his father.
You will be part of the largest sales force in pharmaceutical history, bringing this new miracle drug all across this great nation.
See, doctors want pain relief for their patients.
They just don't want to get them addicted.
So your first talking point is also what makes it so special: less than 1% of people become addicted to OxyContin.
It's amazing, right? Now, all your doctors are gonna be asking you the same thing: "How? How is this even possible?" Well, the answer lies in the MS Contin time‐release system.
This system limits the flow of oxycodone over a 12‐hour period, which not only makes it essentially nonaddictive; it also discourages abusers, because they cannot get a quick high off of it.
‐ Um, if it's nonaddictive, doesn't that mean it can be used to treat, like, almost anything? That's exactly right.
Uh, headaches.
Joint discomfort.
The possibilities are endless.
Now, our initial rollout will be focused on southwestern Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and rural Maine.
And do you know why? Anyone? ‐ Um, they're mining, farming, logging centers, uh, places where folks get injured doing labor‐intensive jobs.
‐ Correct.
These people are in pain.
They have hard lives.
And we have the cure.
So we are sending you all into the wild to flip these country doctors from Percocet and Vicodin to OxyContin.
‐ When I was selling Vicodin, doctors could get skittish about opioids.
‐ This bias is exactly what you'll have to overcome.
But step one is just getting in the door.
All right, make your doctors feel special.
Get dolled up.
Take them to expensive dinners.
Offer to fill up their car with gas just to get ten minutes to pitch.
Bribe the receptionist with a mani‐pedi so she'll let you in the office.
All right, you have to get to know your doctors, which is why we will give you full psychological profiles on each of them.
If they've got kids, get them tickets to Disney World.
If they're going through a divorce, uh, get them laid.
Whatever it takes to win their friendship and their trust.
I love the Pradas, by the way.
And, uh, is that a Gucci suit? It's very, uh, stylish while being, you know, work environment‐appropriate.
‐ Are you gay? ‐ What? Uh, no.
‐ Are you sure? 'Cause you sound like a fag.
‐ Wow.
Uh I guess that depends what you're into.
‐ Hmm.
I dated a guy at Harvard just like you.
He used humor to compensate for his small penis.
‐ Wow, you, uh, called me dickless and dropped the fact you went to Harvard in under 30 seconds.
Is that, like, a record for you? ‐ Please.
I usually drop it faster.
Amber Collins.
Billy Cutler.
Nice to meet you.
Um would you like to go out and get dinner sometime, Amber? Or, like, a cocktail? I know a bar that does great cocktails.
‐ See you around, Billy.
‐ Yeah.
I, uh, understand you're a breast man.
I know how busy you are.
I just thought we could take a few moments over a bucket of Kentucky's finest.
I can tell you about a drug that's gonna change this mountain forever.
Best fishing I ever did‐‐ Colorado River.
My dad would take me trout fishing, and then we'd just grill them up right there by the river.
‐ Oh, man.
Cook them up with some butter, add a little garlic‐‐ oh, boy, that's perfection.
‐ Yes, sir.
You from Colorado? ‐ No.
No, I'm from a, uh, small farming community outside of Omaha.
You? ‐ From a town in southwest Pennsylvania.
I never thought I'd end up in a town this small.
‐ How'd that happen? ‐ Met a girl in med school.
She wanted to provide free health care for people in Appalachia.
She made it pretty clear she was gonna do it with or without me.
‐ Well, there's nothing like chasing a girl.
‐ Nope.
Well, I've got another patient coming in here in a few minutes, so‐‐ Of course.
I won't take up much of your time.
You're probably already familiar with our drug MS Contin.
Used to treat severe pain, many patients with cancer.
‐ MS Contin is a very good drug.
‐ So what Purdue did is, they took the same system, uh, the Contin system, and they produced a opioid for chronic and moderate pain.
‐ I would never prescribe a narcotic for moderate pain.
There's a pretty long history down here of pill abuse.
‐ Less than 1% of people get addicted to OxyContin.
‐ That's not possible.
‐ But it is.
The FDA actually created a special label to say that it's less addictive than other opioids.
Right there.
Your most effective talking point is the FDA label.
These are your new magic words: "Delayed absorption, as provided by OxyContin tablets" ‐ Delayed absorption, as provided by OxyContin tablets ‐ "Is believed to reduce" ‐ The abuse liability of a drug.
‐ I've never seen a label like this on a Class II narcotic.
‐ It's the first of its kind.
Opioid use is being totally redefined in this country.
Untreated pain is a‐‐ is an unnecessary evil when you have a nonaddictive opioid like OxyContin that can be used to cure everyday suffering.
And we're not supposed to hand out samples, but, um, it'll be our secret.
And I'll leave some coupons with Leah so you can, uh, redeem for a few more bottles.
Trust me, these miners' lives are gonna change overnight when they get a taste of OxyContin.
You're not gonna let your patients suffer when they don't have to, right? ‐ I‐I can't.
What? ‐ I can't.
What? ‐ What's wrong? Hey.
‐ Did I do something wrong? ‐ I want us to be together.
‐ I want us to go live somewhere else.
‐ Well, w‐where would we go? I‐I gotta stay in the mountains.
‐ I know.
I found a place.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
It's a mountain town that's gay‐friendly.
We can go live there.
‐ Well, do they have mines? ‐ What? ‐ No, I'm trying to get you out of the mines.
‐ Well, I don't‐‐ I don't want to get out of the mines.
What are you talking about? ‐ Wellfour generations of my family built America right here in this mountain, and no one thought a girl could do it.
Not even my dad.
He didn't want me down there either.
You know, everyone thought the mountains were done, and I proved 'em all wrong.
‐ But we can't be together if you stay underground.
You'd choose coal over me? ‐ Of course not.
No, Grace.
Then come away with me.
Coal is a job.
It's not a life.
‐ Look at you.
You're in pain right now, and you're pretending you're not so you can keep going down there.
That's no way to live.
‐ My dad will never speak to me again if I came out.
‐ Hi.
Hi, Billy.
This is Richard Sackler.
‐ Um, hello, sir.
Uh, it's an honor.
‐ How‐‐how were the initial responses? ‐ Um, they're very good, uh, I think.
And, uh, you know, it's taking some of the doctors a moment to accept the fact that less than 1% of people get addicted to it, but ‐ Ah.
Well, keep pushing.
It's‐‐it's crucial they understand this.
Yes, sir.
I won't let you down.
Keep at it.
‐ Thank you.
I know.
It's hard.
It's hard convincing them that it's essentially nonaddictive, but just keep pushing.
Good night.
Honey, you shouldn't call sales reps.
It makes you look desperate.
‐ I've always despised that piece.
‐ Why didn't you tell me? I would have taken it down.
‐ No.
I like waking up to it.
Years before Uncle Arthur died, he became addicted to buying Chinese art.
It totally consumed him.
I think he paid $3 million for that.
And look at it.
It's so ugly.
If I can stay laser‐focused, I think I can make this the biggest drug in the world.
We're here for the final dissolution of the marriage between Paul Mendelson and Bridget Meyer on no‐fault grounds.
The couple has been married for three years and has no children.
You may proceed to sign the papers.
‐ Are you okay? ‐ Yeah, I'm fine.
‐ Yeah? ‐ You all right? ‐ I‐‐ ‐ You look nice.
‐ So do you.
Um All right.
You be good to yourself, okay? ‐ We should be done here around, like, 6:00.
So let's say maybe 8:00.
But don't be mad if I have to cancel last‐minute.
It's a job thing.
I won't be.
But it doesn't matter, 'cause I will pick you up at 8:00.
‐ Great.
See you then.
‐ How long you been seeing this guy? ‐ We've gone out twice.
You sleep with him yet? ‐ No.
He hasn't even tried to kiss me.
He is going slow.
‐ Wow.
He must really like you.
‐ ‐ Right? ‐ Absolutely.
‐ Or he's advertising to be my brother.
Or that.
‐ DEA! Don't move! ‐ Hey, stop right there! ‐ DEA! Freeze! ‐ DEA! On the ground! Do not move! ‐ Go to the right! ‐ Right there! Tell me now who the supplier is, and you may just get a break.
Okay, talk.
‐ What are these pills? You don't know? ‐ Wise guy.
‐ What the fuck is this? ‐ So you got anything on a prescription drug called OxyContin? Have there been any spikes in crime related to it? Yeah, I'll hold.
Foster care‐‐ the foster care occupancy has tripled? Increase in child abandonment.
How long have you seen this trend? Local jails overflowing.
Increase in prostitution.
Yes, um, do you got anything on a prescription drug called OxyContin? Uh, your lawn mower was stolen? No, I‐I can't help you with that.
So they just broke into the pharmacy and only took OxyContin? Nothing else? This is Bridget Meyer with the DEA.
Um, I know it's late, but I wanted to confirm some intel I got about your pharmacy.
I know this is Diversion's domain.
‐ That's correct.
‐ But in a raid on a mid‐level cocaine bust, we uncovered a bag filled with OxyContin tablets for distribution, so I did a little digging.
This drug has only been on the market for three years, and there's already been a spike in overdoses and crime rates in rural parts of Kentucky, Maine, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, all areas where this drug was first launched.
‐ Jermaine, where's Diversion on this? ‐ Opioid use has been totally redefined in the last few years.
They're completed accepted in the medical community.
The prevailing sentiment is that not prescribing opioids is considered inhumane.
‐ So Diversion isn't concerned with illegal opioid sales? ‐ With all due respect, sir, the diversion division is the most underfunded and understaffed unit in this building.
‐ Excuse me? ‐ I'm just stating a fact.
We're also the most demoralized since you make it pretty clear the DEA's priorities are not illegal use of prescription drugs.
‐ And how many Diversion agents get killed on the job every year? Zero.
I got Operation agents like Bridget here dying on the front lines.
And she's doing it in high heels and a quinceañera dress.
So excuse me if I don't have time to give you a pep talk about stopping Joey Sticky Fingers from stealing Daddy's Vicodin.
‐ Sir, I understand stopping Joey Sticky Fingers isn't a priority, but there might be a unique situation brewing here.
I thought we could start with the FDA and try to tighten up sales of this drug‐‐ ‐ The FDA granted OxyContin a unique label saying it was less addictive than other opioids, so they're not gonna be interested or helpful.
Curbing opioid use goes against the entire national narrative on the subject.
‐ So I heard there's a new guy.
Is he down with you carrying a gun and storming into buildings? ‐ Uh, yeah.
He kind of digs it.
Hmm, well, that's a needle in a haystack.
But I guess those days are done, since you transferred to Diversion.
‐ I didn't transfer.
I'm just interested in OxyContin.
I understand it was given a label saying it was less addictive than other opioids.
Is that unusual? ‐ It was a first.
How'd that come about? ‐ The wording of the label or the approval of it? ‐ The approval.
Was it standard? ‐ Curtis got some pushback.
Curtis? ‐ Curtis Wright, he's the medical review officer.
He approved the label.
‐ What was the pushback? ‐ That there wasn't a need to give it a label differentiating it from other Class II narcotics.
‐ And why was it given? ‐ I don't know the details.
I just know that there was pushback.
‐ Is there something I should know about the approval process? ‐ Was there any kind of internal debate over the wording of the label? ‐ I would call it a disagreement.
Some people didn't think that Purdue had proven their claims were true.
‐ Hmm, did they have any studies that showed it was less addictive? ‐ Those studies weren't conducted.
‐ And why not? ‐ Purdue agreed to a Class II classification, which meant that they agreed that it could be abused, so they argued that there was no need to test for what they were already agreeing to.
‐ So let me get this straight.
The FDA approves this unprecedented label because Purdue claims it's less prone to abuse.
They are argued that because of the time‐release system, they should be given a unique classification.
‐ Curtis Wright just take their word for it? ‐ Ms.
Moles cannot comment on Mr.
Wright's state of mind.
‐ Have you spoken to Curtis? ‐ We wanted to get background first.
Is he still the review officer? ‐ You don't know.
And then, uh, less than two years later, after the drug hits the market, Curtis Wright resigns from the FDA.
‐ You want to take a guess where he lands? ‐ You're kidding me.
‐ He ends up at Purdue Pharma as executive director of medical affairs.
‐ So the FDA grants an unusual label that turns out not to be true, and the guy who approved it goes to work for the company that made billions off the label? ‐ Mm‐hmm.
‐ That is correct, sir.
‐ We'd like to open an investigation into Curtis Wright.
‐ Yeah, I think you should.
‐ Well, he seems engaged.
‐ For now.
See what happens when Main Justice hears about it.
‐ You think that DEA agent was right? We're gonna get shut down by the higher‐ups? ‐ Wouldn't surprise me.
‐ I'll meet you downstairs.
‐ ‐ Hello.
Bets, I'm gonna lift that shirt up for you now, all right? ‐ All right.
All right.
Kind of hurts to move, though.
‐ All right.
I'll be careful.
‐ Okay? Mm‐hmm.
‐ Oh! Tell them to leave.
‐ We'll go pray for you.
Leave, Mom! Dad, close the door! Okay.
‐ Is that tender when I touch it? Yeah.
‐ Yeah.
All right.
All right.
You're gonna have to take some time off.
You can't go down in the mines like that.
I'll talk to the management myself.
‐ No, they won't listen to you.
I can't lose my job.
I gotta make enough money to get out of here.
‐ What are you talking about? ‐ I never told no one this before.
‐ Bets, I delivered you.
You can tell me anything.
‐ I'm, uh I'm, uh ‐ Bets.
I know.
I know.
‐ And I I can't stay here no more.
I gotta be myself.
If I can make enough money underground, then I can go live somewhere where I can just be me.
I love those mines.
I know it sounds strange, but I do.
I just can't live like this anymore.
‐ You know there's not a day goes by that I don't think of Shelly since I lost her.
People shouldn't be allowed to love somebody as much as I loved her.
If you gotta go on and get out of here, well, then you do that.
I'll even help you, if you need it.
‐ Okay.
All right? ‐ I can't take off a month, though.
Is there anything you can give me? A shot to make it heal faster or something? ‐ There's a new drug that I've been reading about in the journals.
They say it's a miracle drug.
I don't know about that.
The FDA and journals all say it's safe.
Now, I'm gonna give you enough for a three‐day supply.
You take one now, and then you take one in the morning.
All right? Okay.
‐ All right.
You only take two a day.
One in the morning, one at night.
Then come on in and get an X‐ray.
All right.
It's gonna be all right.
All right.
I'll talk to your mom and dad.
All right.
Dear Lord, please protect our daughter.
I know she's not perfect, but we love her so much.
But's a hard life deep under that ground, and, uh, sometimes we‐‐ we get hurt.
And a lot of us have to live our entire lives with that hurt.
Of course, we're always grateful for what You've given us and the the mountains that provide for us.
I beg You, dear Lord, please take her pain away.
Please save my little girl from her pain.
These people carry the burden of building this nation on their backs, and they deserve to do it without pain.
So if this drug can help, well, then I'm willing to try it.
We have created the greatest painkiller in the history of human civilization.
‐ This works better than anything I've ever used before.
‐ There is something unique about this drug.
There's already a spike in overdoses and crime rates.
They will soon be the largest profits this company has ever seen.
‐ That is really good.
‐ How many kids in your school are on OxyContin? ‐ I don't know.
‐ You think maybe that miracle drug you're selling might be a little more addictive than you said it was? ‐ We're all really worried about you.
‐ It's not the drug that's the problem.
It's the addicts who are abusing it.
‐ No drug is going to work perfectly for every patient.
That's not our job.
Our job is to sell, bitch.
‐ How dangerous can it be? Everything we've compiled shows that Purdue consistently oversold the benefits and trivialized the risks of OxyContin.
Those executives belong in jail.
I want Purdue to feel some pain.
Let's shake every tree and see if we can find some hard evidence.
Let's do it! ‐ People's lives are at stake.
And a pharma company is lying about their medicine.
‐ They will go down.
‐ Don't worry.
We'll figure this out.
It's an excellent drug.

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