Painkiller: SCOTUS action over Sackler protections lines up with Netflix miniseries premiere

If you’re preparing to sit down and watch the Netflix miniseries “Painkiller” which premieres on the streaming giant this week, then you might hear the name Sackler more than once in the coming days.

This is because the Supreme Court is still working on the case.

If you’re completely new to the story. The Sacklers were behind the multi billion dollar Perdue pharmaceutical empire. The same empire that was able to get Oxycontin approved through the Food and Drug Administration, and then go on a marketing blitz promoting the hyper addictive medication, resulting in the tragic deaths of many in the ongoing opioid crisis.


The Supreme Court has temporarily blocked the settlement that would shield members of the Sackler family not seeking bankruptcy, from personal civil lawsuits. The court will hear the argument over whether the settlement should continue before the end of the year (story HERE).

While its not uncommon for real life changes to occur after a creative product like this one is finished, it is unusual for the events to come down so coincidentally close to a premiere. The closest recent example similar to the Sacklers and the Oxycontin crisis was last year when Elizabeth Holmes, the former CEO of Theranos was still going through legal proceedings when “The Dropout” starring Amanda Seyfried as premiered on Hulu.

Painkiller will also have an advantage that another Oxycontin story involving the Sacklers did not have. “Dopesick” also ran on Hulu in 2021.

What do you think? Were you familiar with the Oxycontin story before sitting down to watch Painkiller? Let me know in the comments below.


ALSO catch the recap from the first episode HERE

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