01x01 - First Bottle

Episode transcripts for the TV show, "Dopesick". Aired: October 13, 2021 - present.*
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American drama miniseries created by Danny Strong based on the nonfiction book Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy.
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01x01 - First Bottle

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♪ ♪

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 % 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.

RICHARD: Thank you, Uncle Arthur.

RICK: Dr. Peterson,
please tell the grand jury,

when did you first hear about OxyContin?

DR. PETERSON: Um, it was
around the summer of .

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.

RANDY: 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 % became addicted.

Less than % would become
addicted to OxyContin.

He said less than %.

He called it a miracle drug.

Dr. Finnix, did more
than % of your patients

become addicted to OxyContin?

♪ ♪

Dr. Finnix.

I can't believe how many
of them are d*ad now.

♪ ♪


♪ ♪

JOHNNY CASH: ♪ I'm just a poor ♪

♪ Wayfaring stranger ♪

♪ Traveling through ♪

♪ This world below ♪

♪ There is no sickness ♪

♪ No toil, nor danger ♪

♪ In that bright land ♪


Doing good, Bets?

Fine, Dad.

♪ ♪

JOHNNY: ♪ I'm going there ♪

♪ To see my Father ♪

♪ And all my loved ones ♪

♪ Who've gone on ♪

♪ I'm just going ♪

♪ Over Jordan ♪

♪ I'm just going ♪

SAMUEL: 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?


SAMUEL: 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 . Don't worry about it.

For some girls, it can
happen when they're .

Others, .

[SOBBING] It's just embarrassing.

There's nothing to be embarrassed about.

Easy for me to say.

♪ ♪

LEAH: 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 years?

SAMUEL: Heh, I figured I'd
let her discover that herself.

LEAH: You got plans Friday night?

We're having a potluck
at my Aunt Clara's.

Be the best soul food you ever ate.

SAMUEL: Oh, that's sweet. Thanks.

I got plans, though, honey.

No, you don't.



NANCY: 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.

- NANCY: Really? Oh.
- Yeah.

- Let me get you some water.
- Well, I...

SAMUEL: It's all
right. That's all right.

NANCY: I thought sure I
took them this morning.

I mean, I take them every day.

SAMUEL: Hey, everybody
forgets sometimes.

- NANCY: Yeah.
- SAMUEL: 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.

- NANCY: Okay.
- All right, honey.

- See you.
- NANCY: Bye.

♪ ♪


♪ ♪

JOHNNY: ♪ I'm just going ♪

♪ Over Jordan ♪

♪ I'm just going ♪

♪ Over home ♪

♪ ♪

Heya, Deskin. How's your back?


You gotta try acupuncture. Really works.

That some sort of lesbo voodoo?

- Yeah.

After your first session, you'll
finally get to eat some p*ssy.


Grace, please refrain
from that kind of language

around my daughter.

Sorry, Jer. Next time,
I'll say "vag*na."


JERRY: 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. Amen.

- DIANE: Amen.
- NANCY: Amen.

You gonna finish your
quilt this weekend?

Yeah, I only have a
few more squares left.

DIANE: 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.

JERRY: Wait a minute.

Patricia Bellinger was a lesbian?

Dear, everyone knew that.

I knew she was when I was ten.


NANCY: [CHUCKLES] 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.

DIANE: Well, bless their hearts.

I'm gonna pray for both of them tonight.


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.

GRACE: Aren't you that miner girl?


I heard you're tough.

Are you tough?

- Maybe.
- Maybe?

- Depends.
- Depends? On what?

- I don't know.
- You don't know?


MARGE: 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.

SUZANNE: Mm-hmm.


♪ ♪

BETSY: I got some good news for you.

My mama said she was gonna pray for you.


GRACE: Well, bless her heart.


♪ ♪

MAZZY STAR: ♪ I wanna take
the breath that's true ♪

♪ ♪

♪ I look to you and I see ♪

BETSY: All right. Cable's good, Eddie.

EDDIE: All right, Bets.

♪ ♪

MAZZY STAR: ♪ I look to
you to see the truth ♪


MINER: Hold on!



♪ ♪



- All right, let's all...

[PANTING] My back! My back!

MINER: Be okay.

- BETSY: Ah, it's my back!
- MINER: Get up!


MINER : Betsy?

- MINER : Try to get her up.
- MINER : Betsy?

♪ ♪


♪ ♪

KATHE: 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?

RICHARD: 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?

KATHE: 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.


KATHE: I'll see you in there.


♪ ♪

MORTIMER: 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 $ 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.A.,

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.


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.

KATHE: Uncle Raymond,
I resent the implication

that we're all dilettantes.

RAYMOND: 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 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.

MORTIMER: Tell my nephew...

it f*cking better.


♪ ♪


♪ ♪


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.
- SAMUEL: Hey.

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.

♪ ♪

RICK: Dr. Finnix.



So just to be clear, you're
blaming numerous deaths

in your town on just one medication.

SAMUEL: 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.


- RANDY: Great to meet ya.
- JOHN: Hey.

- Randy Ramseyer.
- JOHN: 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.

[LAUGHS] 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 h*t 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 b*tch in jail,

'cause we sure as hell
are gonna get it done.

- Yes, sir.
- JOHN: All right.

You guys holding out on me?


Well, it's still very early,

but we've g*n looking at
something that could be big.

Mm, what are we talking about?


RICK: 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.S. attorney pursued?

No, sir.

JOHN: Civil litigation?

RICK: What is it, cases?

And how many has Purdue won?

- .
- 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.


They're big philanthropists, right?

RANDY: Oh, yeah. Yeah,
they give lots of money

to museums and schools.

- Rich-person stuff.
- Very rich.

JOHN: So what do you guys got

that no other U.S. 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 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.

RICK: It's the single highest
source of crime in the entire region.

JOHN: 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.S. 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.

PATIENT: This frees me up.

And it helps with my anxiety.

You can just take the medicine and go.

PATIENT: I can take
walks with my husband.

And I can go swimming.

All because of the pain medicine.

STEPHANIE: Rick? Rick!

[SCOFFS] Would you get up here?

Uh-huh. Yeah.

Thank You, Lord, for this meal,

and allowing us to
enjoy it together. Amen.

- 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.
- RICK: 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.S. attorneys ambitious?

Wow. She must really
think he's handsome.

STEPHANIE: Maybe this is
the perfect opportunity

for you to take on something big that...

might scare off someone
who isn't as ambitious.


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?

RANDY: Yeah. This is Bridget Meyer.

She's the deputy director
of the Diversion Division.


Try and say that three times fast.

RICK: You think she's
gonna tell us what happened?


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.

RANDY: Right. 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.
- RANDY: 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 f*cking label caused everything.

How so?

BRIDGET: 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 f*cking 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.

RICK: 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.
- BRIDGET: Mm-hmm.

Thank you for your time.

You know, a few months
ago, we caught a doctor

selling pills out of his
car to an -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 A*DS 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.

♪ ♪

PATIENT: I found my life again,

and it's worth living now.

I'm so grateful.

PATIENT: 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.

RICK: 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?

RICK: I don't know.
I'd like to found out.

Well, if they weren't, then Purdue

deliberately sent a promotional video

to , doctors stating these patients

were on a drug that they
weren't actually taking.

RICK: That's right.

And this video is the first
major introduction of OxyContin.

♪ ♪

MARGE: Hey, Jennifer.

I think your husband here
needs some new glasses.

He's the worst referee
in the entire state.

You lost by , Marge.

It's not my husband's
fault your team sucks b*lls.

Oh, baby. I'm sorry about that.


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.

♪ ♪

$ for a blow job.

$ if you want to f*ck me.

You need to get to a
hospital immediately.

f*ck off.


RANDY: You need to make sure you...

♪ ♪



♪ ♪

RICHARD: 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 . 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 f*cking 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.

♪ ♪

PURDUE SALES MANAGER: 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 % 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 -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.

Backaches. Toothaches.

Uh, headaches. Joint discomfort.

Arthritis. Hangovers.

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.


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.

BILLY: I love the Pradas, by the way.

And, uh, is that a Gucci suit?

It's very, uh, stylish...

while being, you know, work

Are you gay?

What? Uh, no.

Are you sure? 'Cause
you sound like a f*g.

Wow. Uh... [CHUCKLES]

I guess that depends what you're into.


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 seconds.

Is that, like, a record for you?

Please. I usually drop it faster.

- Amber Collins.
- BILLY: Hey.

Billy Cutler. Nice to meet you.


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.



♪ ♪

Dr. Finnix.

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.

- SAMUEL: You from Colorado?
- No.

No, I'm from a, uh, small farming
community outside of Omaha.


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.


Well, I've got another patient

coming in here in a few minutes, so...

BILLY: 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 % 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.

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?



SINGER: ♪ Dancing where
the lonely nights are dim ♪

♪ Oh ♪


- I... I can't.
- BETSY: What?

- I can't.
- BETSY: What?


What's wrong?


SINGER: ♪ Painted-on smile ♪

♪ She's caught in the middle ♪

Did I do something wrong?

SINGER: ♪ A long, long while ♪

I want us to be together.

SINGER: ♪ Half in the shade ♪

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?

[SCOFFS] What?

SINGER: ♪ Holding on to just a memory ♪

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.

GRACE: What are you talking about?

SINGER: ♪ There's no one to blame ♪

Well... four 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.
- GRACE: Then come away with me.

Coal is a job. It's not a life.

- GRACE: 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.


♪ ♪


- BILLY: Hello.
- 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 % of people
get addicted to it, but...

Ah. Well, keep pushing.

It's... it's crucial
they understand this.

BILLY: Yes, sir. I won't let you down.

RICHARD: Good. Good. Keep at it.

Thank you.

♪ ♪


♪ ♪

I know. It's hard.

It's hard convincing them that
it's essentially nonaddictive,

but just keep pushing.

Yeah. Good.

Good night.

♪ ♪

BETH: 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.


I like waking up to it.

Years before Uncle Arthur d*ed,

he became addicted
to buying Chinese art.

It totally consumed him.

I think he paid $ 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.

JUDGE: 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?


- You look nice.
- [CHUCKLES] So do you.


All right.

You be good to yourself, okay?

We should be done here
around, like, : .

So let's say maybe : .

But don't be mad if I
have to cancel last-minute.

- It's a job thing.
- PAUL: I won't be.

But it doesn't matter, 'cause
I will pick you up at : .

Great. See you then.

How long you been seeing this guy?

We've gone out twice.

BERT: You sleep with him yet?
- No.

He hasn't even tried to kiss me.

He is going slow.


He must really like you.

- Right?

- Absolutely.

Or he's advertising to be my brother.

BERT: [LAUGHS] 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!

♪ ♪

BERT: Tell me now who the supplier is,

and you may just get a break.

Okay, talk.

What are these pills?

DEALER: You don't know?

Wise guy.

What the f*ck 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 dr*gs.

And how many Diversion agents
get k*lled on the job every year?


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 g*n

and storming into buildings?

Uh, yeah. He kind of digs it.

KAREN: 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.

BRIDGET: How'd that come about?

The wording of the label
or the approval of it?

The approval. Was it standard?

Curtis got some pushback.

BRIDGET: 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.

[SCOFFS] 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.

KAREN: Correct. 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.

RICK: 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.


♪ ♪





Bets, I'm gonna lift that
shirt up for you now, all right?

- All right.
- SAMUEL: All right.

BETSY: Kind of hurts to move, though.

All right. I'll be careful.


- Okay?
- BETSY: Mm-hmm.


BETSY: Tell them to leave.

- We'll go pray for you.
- BETSY: Leave, Mom!

- Dad, close the door!
- JERRY: Okay. Yep.

Is that tender when I touch it?

- BETSY: 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.

[SHAKILY] I'm, uh...

I'm, uh...


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.
- SAMUEL: All right?

I can't take off a month, though.

Is there anything you can give me?

A sh*t 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?
- BETSY: 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.

BETSY: All right.

SAMUEL: It's gonna be all right.

All right. I'll talk
to your mom and dad.

BETSY: All right.


♪ ♪

JERRY: 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.

HAZEL DICKENS: ♪ Fly away ♪

♪ Little pretty bird ♪

♪ Fly ♪

♪ Fly away ♪

♪ Fly away ♪

♪ Little pretty bird ♪

♪ Where the cold ♪

♪ Winter winds ♪

♪ Don't blow ♪

SAMUEL: 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.


RICHARD: 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.

RICHARD: They will soon
be the largest profits

this company has ever seen.

[LAUGHING] 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, b*tch.

How dangerous can it be?

RICK: Everything we've compiled shows

that Purdue consistently
oversold the benefits

and trivialized the risks of OxyContin.

JOHN: Those executives belong in jail.

RICK: 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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