Painkiller review: Netflix drops the ball in retelling

Painkiller. (L to R) John Ales as Dr. Gregory Fitzgibbons, West Duchovny as Shannon Shaeffer in episode 102 of Painkiller. Cr. Keri Anderson/Netflix ?? 2023

Shannon Schaeffer (West Duchovny) plays a Purdue Pharma drug rep


Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster

IN DECEMBER 1995, the pharmaceuticals firm Purdue Pharma reached an important milestone: its new opioid, OxyContin, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of moderate pain. One key aspect of the decision was a single sentence on the drug’s label claiming that its 12-hour delayed absorption was “believed” to reduce the likelihood of users becoming addicted to it.

This semantic sidestep is one of many stories told in Painkiller …

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