Newly reissued in 2013, revised and updated. The epic tale of OxyContin and the painkiller boom that has changed medicine and American society. When it was released, the legal narcotic OxyContin was seen as a pharmaceutical dream, a “wonder” drug that heralded a sea of change in pain treatment and generated big profits for its manufacturer. But it soon unleashed a crisis with impacts still being felt by both patients and the public. When published in 2003, The New York Times called Pain Killer “fascinating”, The Seattle Times described it as “masterly” and The Minneapolis Star-Tribune said it read “like a thriller.”
Pain Killer takes readers on a journey of discovery that begins with the true story of Lindsay, a high-school cheerleader in Virginia who gets hooked on Oxys, and expands outward to explore the critical issues of legitimate pain management, prescription drug abuse, and how the misuse of science by the drug industry threatens the public good. It also tells the hidden story of one of America’s wealthiest families, and a drug company whose relentless promotion helped fuel the dramatic spread of the strongest legal drugs sold.
The dangers first chronicled in Pain Killer are still being felt today both in skyrocketing rates of overdose-related deaths and new data that shows that powerful narcotic painkillers also can pose risks to patients even when used as directed. This new edition is updated with recent scientific and medical information.