Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America's Opioid Epidemic
Why this book?
Meier’s takedown of Purdue Pharma was ahead of its time. First published in 2003, Pain Killer was updated and re-published in 2018, Meier’s book is a hard-hitting account of the early causes of the opioid crisis. He shows how Purdue tried to hide information about OxyContin’s widespread abuse and the painkiller’s addictive nature. He also spotlights the Justice Department’s repeated failures to combat the drug epidemic. Meier is a former reporter at The New York Times. At one point, the Times’ editors yanked Meier off the opioid beat in response to complaints by Purdue Pharma lawyers. The complaints, of course, were unfounded, and editors later admitted they had been duped. I’m glad it didn’t stop Meier from writing and updating this landmark book.