The Netflix series “Pain Hustlers” delves into the ways that pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical businesses contribute to the epidemic of addiction and overdoses. The drama centres on Zanna Therapeutics and tells the tale of Liza Drake, a sales woman tasked with persuading physicians to prescribe Lonafen, the company’s ground-breaking cancer painkiller. Liza, a single mother of one, helps Zanna Therapeutics move up the corporate ladder despite her lack of knowledge in the field because of her intense drive.
However, Liza refuses to follow her conscience and speaks out against Zanna and its inventor, Jack Neel, for their unethical behaviour, even though Lonafen is still prescribed off-label and causes a great deal of trouble for the patients who rapidly develop an addiction to the drug. One of the first patients given Lonafen, Matt Ellison, plays a crucial role in Liza’s awakening to the dangers of the medication. Viewers are therefore left wondering if the individual is related to any actual patients who suffered from a similar circumstance. Everything you need to know is right here!
Jeffrey Buchalter is the Possible Inspiration For Matt Ellison
The novel “Pain Hustlers” is partially inspired by Evan Hughes’s self-titled book and his article from the New York Times concerning the opioid crisis and Insys Therapeutics’ role in it. As a result, there is still a clear link between the movie’s fictional components and actual events, even if it uses dramatised recreations of real-life events and fictional characters. Consequently, we can say that Matt Ellison’s persona may have been influenced by Jeffrey Buchalter.
As portrayed in ‘Pain Hustlers’, Buchalter, an Iraq War veteran, was among the numerous individuals who succumbed to addiction as a result of Subsys’ excessive prescription, an Insys painkiller similar to Lonafen. Buchalter’s military duty caused a number of problems for him, both psychologically and physically. The veteran’s physician, Dr. William Tham of Annapolis, gave him an opioid drug called Subsys to combat the same.
However, Buchalter’s life suffered greatly as a result of the drug, which was only authorised for breakthrough cancer pain. During his testimony, Buchalter disclosed that Tham had prescribed 19,000 mcg of Subsys daily. Furthermore, the man donated about $1 million to Insys’ profits on his own, according to Aaron Moore, his attorney. Buchalter quickly developed a drug addiction and, in 2016, was forced to undergo a medical detox at Fort Belvoir.
Regarding Buchalter’s condition, a medical specialist expressed shock at the quantity of opioids the patient had been supplied. Buchalter also talked about how he saw Subsys as “the weapon” and Dr. Tham and Insys Therapeutics as “the unknown enemy.” “I had become a full-blown addict and didn’t even know it,” he continued. I disappeared from existence once more without understanding why or how.
In contrast, Buchalter’s experience is comparable to that of Matt Ellison’s character, who is also a veteran of the conflict. Nevertheless, there is one significant exception: in Ellison’s instance, the goal of Lonafen’s drug inception was to treat his cancer breakthrough agony. Ellison’s fiction goes from Buchalter’s real experience and puts him at a distance from it, but it also shows another aspect of a nearby experience.
Ellison’s persona thus offers a more comprehensive portrayal of people’s true stories. In that sense, Ellison’s character is set in fiction, yet it differs from Jeffrey Buchalter in a few significant ways. However, he is clearly a synthesis of various experiences, including Buchalter’s, brought to the screen in order to resemble a catastrophe that actually happened in real life.
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