A new trailer for a documentary about the opioid crisis in America has been released, showing a former addict who said he took 50 pills a day.
‘The Crime Of The Century’ is set to debut on May 11 on HBO, which describes it as ‘a searing indictment of Big Pharma and their responsibility for manufacturing the very crisis they profit from.’
The two-part documentary is directed by Alex Gibney, the Emmy and Academy Award-winning director of The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley and Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief.
In the trailer released last week, one former addict is heard recalling of his pill consumption: ‘It would take me almost 15 minutes just to eat them all, 25 twice a day, it was like sitting down to a bowl of Cheerios.’
A former addict recalls taking 50 prescription pain pills a day in a trailer for ‘The Crime Of The Century’, set to debut on May 11 on HBO
‘A representative of Perdue said, “You just take as much as you need,”‘ the man claimed.
More than 760,000 Americans have died from a drug overdose since 1999. Opioids were involved in 49,860 overdose deaths in 2019, or 70.6 percent of all drug overdose deaths, according to CDC data.
The new documentary promises to investigate ‘the origins, extent and fallout of one of the most devastating public health tragedies of our time’ and ‘reveals that America’s opioid epidemic is not a public health crisis that came out of nowhere,’ HBO says.
The film will examine prominent names such as Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, as well as lesser known companies such as Insys Therapeutics, an upstart opioid manufacturer of fentanyl.
‘Startling video of sales retreats and promotional material speak to a deep cynicism among company employees and a disregard for the widespread, nefarious corporate practices,’ HBO said in a press release.
‘A complex scheme to defraud the insurance companies existed side by side with fraudulent marketing tactics while lawmakers continued to turn a blind eye to the implications of a complex pipeline that delivers billions of pills around the country,’ the network added.
The two-part documentary is directed by Alex Gibney, the Emmy and Academy Award-winning director of The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley and Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief
This file photo shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vermont. A new documentary examines the opioid crisis in the US
Other interviews teased in the new trailer included one with Alec Burlakoff, the former vice president of sales at Insys.
‘You can make a lot of money getting doctors to provide a medication to people who don’t need it,’ he said. ‘The doctor, he’s a businessman — I’ve got to show him the WIFM, what’s in it for me.’
It comes on the heels of a new book claiming the family ‘responsible for the opioid crisis’ in the United States tried to erase the 1975 suicide of Purdue Pharma heir Bobby Sackler, 24, who was addicted to heroin.
The story of Bobby, the son of pharmaceutical giant Mortimer Sackler, was not covered in newspapers at the time but has been documented in a new book Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe, who found and interviewed witnesses to his suicide.
In the book, scheduled for release on Tuesday, Radden Keefe claims that Bobby’s drug addictions were ‘an inconvenient truth and a huge embarrassment’ to the family, according to the New York Post – which reviewed an advance copy.
In a twist of fate, the OxyContin pills the Sackler family would invent and market 20 years after his death are a semi-synthetic opioid as is heroin, the drug Bobby was addicted to.
The Sacklers are one of the wealthiest families in the US. Pictured above is some of the Sackler family: Dr Richard Sackler, standing second from left and Jonathan Sackler standing second from right. Seated is co-founder Raymond and his wife Beverly Sackler
The billionaire Sackler family, who own OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, last month agreed to pay nearly $4.3 billion to resolve thousands of lawsuits accusing them of fueling the opioid crisis in the United States.
The huge payment from the members of the Sackler family who are involved with Purdue is part of a larger restructuring plan filed by Purdue that intends to get the Connecticut-based pharmaceutical giant out of bankruptcy.
Purdue’s $10 billion plan to emerge from bankruptcy calls for it to be transformed into an entity that would see the Sacklers relinquish control of the company and steer revenue directly to plaintiffs.
The billion dollar contribution from members of the Sackler family, who have denied any wrongdoing, would see them freed from opioid-related litigation.