Warning: This article contains spoilers
A new four-episode Netflix docuseries highlights the story of a Christian pharmacist in New Orleans suburb who turned the grief from his son’s death into a determination to shut down a doctor he believed was fraudulently prescribing painkillers to thousands in his community.
The online streaming platform released the new series, “The Pharmacist,” last week. The program centers on the efforts of Dan Schneider, who worked for years at a local pharmacy in St. Bernard’s Parish, an upper-middle-class community located adjacent to New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward.
The Lower Ninth Ward had developed a reputation through the decades for crime and drug addiction. It was a community plagued by the crack epidemic during the 1980s and 1990s.
In 1999, Schneider’s son, Danny Jr., was shot to death during what was believed to be a drug deal gone bad in the Lower Ninth Ward. With so many killings happening in the Lower Ninth Ward at the time, Schneider was not pleased that authorities were not able to find and hold accountable his son’s killer.
As Schneider took time off from his job to run his own investigation into his son’s murder, the entire first episode was devoted to his months-long quest to find out who killed his son. Schneider canvassed the streets looking for clues. Thanks to a courageous witness who faced death threats and had to flee her hometown, a teenager named Jeffery Hall was identified and eventually sentenced to prison for the crime.
After Schneider returned to work at the pharmacy following Hall’s conviction, he noticed a high number of teenagers about his son’s age coming in with prescriptions for OxyContin.
Produced by Purdue Pharma, the pill was billed at the time as somewhat of a revolutionary pain medication that was supposed to have a lower risk of addiction. However, the people he noticed coming into this pharmacy to fill the prescriptions showed no signs of obvious pain that would warrant such pain medication.
Schneider would often ask questions of the customers to figure out what their need for the medication was and consulted many of them not to take the medication.
Schneider began to notice a troubling pattern as he looked through the records at his pharmacy — most of the prescriptions the store was filling were for pain medications being prescribed by the same doctor. That doctor is Dr. Jacqueline Cleggett.
What Schneider was noticing was the beginning of the nation’s opioid epidemic in his community. Being that many of those filling prescriptions were his son’s age, he saw his son’s spirit in them. He wanted to do something and he did.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith