• Dopesick

    , available this Friday on Disney +, relates the opiate crisis in the United States.

  • This health crisis has caused more than 500,000 deaths by overdose.

  • This miniseries shows the role of pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma in this drama.

A health disaster that has killed more than half a million Americans! 

Dopesick

, available this Friday on Disney +, relates the opiate crisis in the United States. The eight-part miniseries chronicles the launch of OxyContin by the Purdue Pharma laboratory in 1996 and how this extremely addictive pain reliever, overwhelmingly prescribed, is at the origin of an unprecedented wave of overdose deaths in the United States. 

Dopesick

is a dense and terrifying choral story, born from the fusion of two projects.

Danny Strong (

Empire

) had sold 20th Century Fox TV a series dedicated to the opioid crisis, when he learned in

Deadline

that Fox 21 had acquired the rights to Beth Macy

Dopesick's

investigative book

: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America

.

"Hollywood's most popular project"

“They literally didn't know about my project!

They asked me if we wanted to team up.

I read the book and loved it, as did Beth Macy, who I met.

I thought it would be great to have a real expert on the team.

In the end, I found myself with a wonderful book and an excellent collaborator, ”rejoices Danny Strong, with whom

20 Minutes

spoke by video.

The production is entrusted to filmmaker Barry Levinson (

Rain Man, Good Morning Vietman

).

“Once you have it on board, you are in a good position for the casting.

When Michael Keaton said "yes", we went from the project that nobody wanted to do to the most popular in Hollywood, "laughs Danny Strong.

"A real criminal story"

The miniseries deciphers this opiate crisis from several points of view and over several decades to show all the ins and outs. On the screen intersect the trajectories of Richard Sackler (Michael Stuhlbarg), the boss of Purdue Pharma, of Billy Cutler (William Poulter), salesman in the service of the pharmaceutical laboratory, of Doctor Samuel Finnix (Michael Keaton) doctor who practices in a mining town in Virginia and Betsy Mallum (Kaitlyn Dever), a young woman who quickly becomes addicted to oxycodone, a painkiller twice as powerful as morphine. Initially reserved for terminally ill cancer patients, this opioid has become a classic pain reliever, OxyContin, with the blessing of the Food and Drug Administration, the federal agency regulating food and drug products.

“We tell many stories in one.

There is a truly fascinating real criminal story about this dishonest and corrupt drug company that behaved in the most excruciating way by selling a highly addictive narcotic as non-addictive, ”says the creator of the miniseries.

"A better, more empathetic understanding of addiction"

The series shows the ravages of addiction. “I wanted people to have a better, more empathetic understanding of opioid addiction. Many people consider people with opioid use disorder to be drug addicts, losers, weak, or lazy who just want to get high. The reality is that these drugs completely change the chemistry of your brain, ”says Danny Strong.

The miniseries also follows federal agents (Peter Sarsgaard, John Hoogenakker and Rosario Dawson) who attempted to investigate the deceptive marketing practices of the top-protected pharmaceutical company.

“In addition to the criminal history, there is the story of the dark side of American capitalism, of how the American government can really be in the pockets of private companies,” sums up the creator.

A shock series and a mirror held out to America, which is still fighting this drug epidemic, the worst in its history.

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  • Health

  • Drug

  • Series

  • Culture

  • United States

  • Crisis

  • Disney +

  • Pharmaceutical industry

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