Big Pharma and the devastation it causes with opioids is the topic of a new film starring Emily Blunt, Chris Evans, Andy Garcia, Catherine O’Hara, Jay Duplass, Brian d’Arcy James, and Chloe Coleman debuting Oct. 27 on Netflix. Pain Hustlers, a new film directed by BAFTA award winner David Yates, follows a mother who gets entangled with a failing pharmaceutical startup and the addiction it leads to.
Netflix reports that Liza Drake, played by Blunt (Oppenheimer, Edge of Tomorrow), is a humble single mom who just lost her job and is in a tight position with few options. She meets pharmaceutical salesman Pete Brenner played by Evans (Captain America) who brings her into a dark world of racketeering and opioids.
Complicating the matter is her “increasingly unhinged boss” played by Garcia (Godfather III), the declining health of her daughter played by Coleman (65), and the realization of the true scope of devastation wrought on families by painkillers.
“From the very first minute of talking to Emily I knew we’d found our Liza Drake,” Yates told Netflix earlier this year. “Emily was inspired by the character and the world, and along with Chris shared our vision of realizing a film that was both entertaining yet had some serious and thought-provoking things to say about the opioid crisis.”
A big factor in the show is the guilt people who work in the pharmaceutical industry might feel. There’s a reason for it: The CDC says there were 80,411 overdose deaths in 2021—75.4% of all drug overdose deaths involved opioids, with 88% of opioid overdoses being synthetic. So given these numbers, you should be more worried about pharmaceutical abuse than street heroin. That means opioids killed more Americans—during 2021 alone—than the Vietnam War.
“I was intrigued by the pharma world, particularly the low-rent end …
Author: Benjamin M. Adams / High Times