The Crime of the Century

A two-part documentary directed by Emmy and Academy Award winner Alex Gibney (HBO’s The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley and Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief), The Crime of the Century is a searing indictment of Big Pharma and the political operatives and government regulations that enable over-production, reckless distribution, and mass abuse of synthetic opiates.

Exploring the origins, extent, and fallout of one of the most devastating public health tragedies of our time, with half a million deaths from overdoses this century alone, the film reveals that America’s opioid epidemic is not a public health crisis that came out of nowhere.

With the help of whistleblowers, newly leaked documents, exclusive interviews, sobering testimony from victims of opioid addiction, and access to behind-the-scenes investigations, Gibney’s exposé posits that drug companies are in fact largely responsible for manufacturing the very crisis they profit from, to the tune of billions of dollars -- and thousands of lives.

The Crime of the Century is a Jigsaw Production in association with The Washington Post and Storied Media Group, written and directed by Alex Gibney; produced by Alex Gibney, Sarah Dowland, and Svetlana Zill; executive produced by Stacey Offman, Richard Perello, Todd Hoffman, and Aaron Fishman.

Part One
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Director Alex Gibney explores how Purdue Pharma worked closely with the FDA to approve OxyContin for widespread use, touting its safety without evidence and campaigning to redefine pain treatment. In the face of insufficient government intervention, Purdue continued to prioritize profit over the scores of people succumbing to addiction, creating a market for even deadlier opioids.

Part Two
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As America’s silent epidemic claimed countless lives, Insys Therapeutics, an upstart manufacturer of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, built a business on defrauding insurance companies and bribing doctors to overprescribe. Meanwhile, lawmakers continued to turn a blind eye to the implications of a complex pipeline delivering billions of deadly pills across the country.


Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing the addiction crisis in the United States. It creates change and save lives through three pillars of work: revolutionizing the addiction treatment system, breaking down addiction-related stigmas, and supporting and empowering our communities. To learn more, visit

A Bowl Of Cheerios

The staggering number of daily pills prescribed to one opioid user felt like an additional meal.

'There's No Way This Should Be Allowed'

Irregular interactions between Purdue Pharma and the FDA bring the review of Oxycontin into question.


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