“The Crime of the Century,” a two-part documentary exploring the origins, extent and fallout of the opioid epidemic, premieres at 9 Monday evening on HBO.
Part one focuses on how Purdue Pharma worked closely with the Food and Drug Administration to get the pain medication OxyContin approved for wider use and created a campaign to redefine pain and how it is treated.
Part two, which premieres at 9 p.m. Tuesday, examines the mass marketing of the synthetic opioid fentanyl and the connections between drug manufacturers and government policy. It also interweaves stories of personal tragedy from first responders, survivors and family members with the timeline of actions by Insys Therapeutics, the manufacturer of a liquid form of fentanyl.
“The Crime of the Century,” directed by Oscar winner Alex Gibney, includes footage of a deposition given by former Purdue Pharma chairman and president Richard Sackler; company videos from Purdue Pharma and Insys Therapeutics; and interviews with former pharmaceutical industry sales representatives discussing how they encouraged doctors to prescribe high doses of opioids and leaked Department of Justice documents showing detailed allegations of fraud, conspiracy and malfeasance by Purdue Pharma.
Both parts will be available on the HBO Max streaming service Monday.