Berg is too indulgent when portraying the villains, but the episode “Blizzard of the Century” shows the lengths big corporations go to manipulate insurance companies.
This recap of the Netflix series Painkiller Season 1 Episode 3, “Blizzard of the Century,” contains spoilers.
“Blizzard of the Century” opens with an older adult mother holding a picture of her holding her infant son decades prior. His name was Patrick. Of course, she starts with the usual disclaimer, “But what’s not fictionalized is my story. This program is based on real events. However, certain characters, names, incidents, locations, and dialogue have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes.”
As she tells it, her son died from taking a single pill of OxyContin. She says, “And I will tell you that time does not heal all wounds.”
Painkiller Season 1 Episode 3 Recap
As usual, this episode is told through the memories of Edie, recounting her investigation into Purdue Pharma.
What happened to Curtis Wright?
The FDA scientist began working for Purdue Pharma. A year after Wright approved the FDA application for OxyContin, he left the administration. However, after an acceptable amount of time, he was given a position at Purdue Pharma. “You gotta be f*cking kidding me!” says one of the lawyers while Edie recounts the story.
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How was the application approved? No one knows, but after Sackler and the company gave follow-up meetings the personal touch, he met them at a hotel conference room. The language on the marketing application read, “Delayed absorption, as provided by OxyContin Tablets, is believed to reduce the abuse ability of the drug.”
This gives the impression the drug is safer than anything else on the market.
What is Shannon receiving her bonus contingent on?
Purdue Pharma charges insurance companies by milligrams, not by the number of prescriptions. So, the higher the dosages prescribed, the more money Shannon will receive as a quarterly bonus. Yes, this shocked me, and my jaw dropped as far as it could go, not just at the plan’s creativity but the disregard for the lack of quality of human life by claiming this would improve it.
Purdue Pharma’s master plan is a manipulation, even prepping the marketers to tell physicians that they are using antiquated methods to relieve pain if they are not prescribing OxyContin. Shannon’s trainer and boss, Britt, explains that the more the physicians titrate up, the more money Shannon will receive.
Why is Glen not able to quit his addiction to OxyContin?
After Glen survives his overdose, he ignores the hospitalist’s orders to wean himself off his OxyContin and flushes the bottle, causing him withdrawal symptoms. While the family appreciates his gesture of getting rid of his medication, he tells them he will never allow that to happen again, and he underestimates how addictive the substance is.
Glen tells his wife he is hunting, but that is just a pretense of obtaining more OxyContin. He makes an appointment with his doctor to prescribe an additional OxyContin prescription. While at the office, Glen makes a “show” of being in intense pain of nine on the Wong-Baker scale and unable to sit still. The family physician then writes him another prescription.
Why is Edie’s brother in jail?
This episode adds more scenes to the one we saw in Episode 2, revealing that he sold crack cocaine, even to their mother. Director Peter Berg then creates a montage of real news footage where in the early 1990s, there was a crackdown on illegal drugs. However, Berg then weaves in clips of Shannon and Britt dealing “legal” drugs with the same addiction qualities as heroin.
Painkiller Season 1 Episode 3 Ending Explained
Why is Shannon called to Howard Udell’s office?
We don’t know conclusively why Shannon was called to the corporate office to meet Howard Udell. Still, we can assume it may be because she documented her findings of patients abusing OxyContin and told Britt about it. Shannon saw two teenage girls, including the high school athlete Jess, who complimented her, using the drug in the parking lot in her car.
They drive away in fear, causing an accident. Later, Jess dies from an overdose in front of her physician’s office. We also see Shannon walking into the corporate office to meet Udell, who, according to a Google search, is the Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Purdue Pharma, LP.
What did you think of Painkiller Season 1 Episode 3? Comment below.
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