Monday, August 22, 2022

What I’m Watching: Dopesick (Penultimate Episode)

Dopesick: Season 1, Episode 7 “Black Box Warning” (B+)

As if the timeline of this show and just how long Purdue was allowed to push dangerously addictive medication wasn’t sickening enough, we got to see how, decades earlier, the Sackler family was making assurances that it was acting honorably and honestly in its practices. The black box warning fiasco is especially horrifying, since Purdue somehow came out ahead with more advantageous language that actually gave them the freedom to be more aggressive, even if they had to pull the 160mg pill off the market (which it’s not entirely clear they did). Bridget was understandably furious to learn that the study she had commissioned wasn’t enough to raise any alarms or change anything. That’s a stark difference from the attitude John expressed when he decided they were going to charge the executives, even when he didn’t get the approval he needed to do so. But something has to change, and hopefully calling enough attention to all this will finally begin the process of exposing the harm that has been done. Billy stealing the training tapes was a helpful first step that indicates he may be part of taking down Purdue after being one of its most successful salesmen. Samuel saw firsthand how difficult the road back to normalcy is as he struggled to get his medical license back while still being on methadone, and it was devastating for him to learn that Betsy died from her mother as he was waiting for her to come so that he could get her the help she so desperately needed.

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