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Netflix brings new series Painkiller

Eric Newman, known as showrunner of the Netflix series Narcos and Narcos: Mexico, will make the short drama series Painkiller for the streaming service, which'll revolve around the opioid crisis in the USA.

The opioid crisis refers to the deaths due to opioid overdose in the United States. The culprits are prohibited drugs such as heroin, but even more legal painkillers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl and tramadol.

With 5 percent of the world's population, the United States consumes around 80 percent of the world's annual opioid production. The country has 2.5 million addicts to such resources. The cause of mass addiction and death is often the excessive prescription of opioids since the 1990s, when pharmaceutical companies marketed new versions of such addictive painkillers and recommended them to patients and doctors as a solution to chronic pain.

Peter Berg (The Leftovers,) directs all eight episodes of Painkiller, written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster.


Eric Newman

“A tragedy decades in the making, the opioid crisis has become one of the most devastating public health crises of our time,” Newman said. “Unlike other drug epidemics, born from underground manufacturing and covert smuggling, this epidemic began by prescription — dispensed by doctors, approved by government regulators and promoted by a family-owned pharmaceutical giant that made billions while betraying the trust of patients and the public. I’m grateful to Micah & Noah and Alex for bringing this story to me. Noah and Micah’s narrative of how it happened, based on the spectacular reporting of Patrick Radden Keefe and Barry Meier, is heartbreaking and terrifying. I’m honored to be working with the great Alex Gibney, and I’m thrilled that Peter Berg is coming on to direct it.”
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