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Hulu’s Dopesick Hammers Purdue Pharma for its role in the opioid crisis

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Last week, NPR TV critic and assistant professor at Duke University Eric Degans hosted by Discuss Twitter Spaces on Hulu DubcekAsking tough questions like whether Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family are responsible for their role in the opioid crisis.

Sackler’s family proprietary Purdue Pharma introduced OxyContin® in 1996 – ushering in a new era of powerful pain relievers. Availability of documents to the public The past year has shown how Purdue Pharma has been actively pushing for more prescriptions sedatives.

Has the opioid crisis improved? of course not. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a ‘Record rise’ in drug overdoses In the 12-month period ending March 2021 – overwhelmingly led by opioid analgesics. It’s a complex problem, as are the restrictions on opioids due to the crisis, too Prevent people in real pain from receiving their medication.

The limited series on Hulu was created by Danny Strong and stars Michael Keaton, Rosario Dawson, Peter Sarsgaard, and William Jack Poulter. Keaton plays Dr. Samuel Phoenix, who is caught in the middle of a crisis between drug manufacturers and patients. The limited series is inspired by The New York Times Best seller Dopesick: The Dealers, Doctors, and Drug Company That Addicted AmericaWritten by author Beth Macy.

Macy’s book and corresponding Hulu series address the opioid crisis with a particular focus on Purdue Pharma. The first three episodes of the eight-episode series were released on October 13, 2021, and the last episode aired Wednesday.

Who is responsible for the opioid crisis?

The New Yorker He tore apart the Sackler family’s reputation in 2017call the sackler “The family that built an empire of pain,” Adding that, through their “ruthless” marketing of painkillers, millions died.

In recent years, there has been a huge expense. Last year the Ministry of Justice announce That Purdue Pharma agreed to plead guilty in federal court in New Jersey to a three-count felony, reaching a massive $8 billion settlement.

“The misuse and conversion of prescription opioids has contributed to a national tragedy of addiction and death, in addition to that of illegal street opioids,” Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said. “With a plea of ​​criminal guilt, a federal settlement of more than $8 billion, and a company dissolved and its assets completely reallocated for the benefit of the public, the decision in today’s announcement confirms once again that the Department of Justice will not back down in its multiple — protracted efforts to combat the opioid crisis.”

the eaters themselves Pay $4.5 billionBut they were able to clear themselves of some allegations. Judge Robert Dren, of US Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, New York, called the results bittersweet, because much of Sackler’s fortune was transferred to offshore bank accounts.

Then earlier this year, Johnson & Johnson and its “Big Three” distributors — McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health —agreed to pay a total of $26 billion for their role in the opioid crisis.

The flow of opioids, which eventually leads to fentanyl and other pain relievers, can be traced back to Purdue Pharma’s oxycodone brand.

cast as a villain

At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be much accountability on the end of big pharma giants like Sacklers. “Bads [of OxyContin] They are not victims,” Richard Sackler wrote in a 2001 email. “They are the perpetrators.”

But the Deegan discussion questioned whether or not the Sacklers should be portrayed as villains, given the complexity of the situation. Join the Twitter Spaces discussion with NPR addiction reporter Brian Mann, Dubcek Author Beth Macy, Dubcek Series creator Danny Strong and others.

“There is a lot that we have to do, and a lot of it falls under the umbrella of… solving the war on drugs,” Messi She said. “we [should] Start treating people less like criminals, stop beating up abusers like Richard Sackler told us to do, and start treating these people as people with a real medical condition, which is what they are.”

In the Hulu series, Richard Sackler and his family are portrayed as the main villains, but the series mixes some facts with fiction. Dejan stresses that reality is a bit more complex, and that the opioid crisis cannot be analyzed in black and white.

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