The Pharmacist – Netflix Season 1 Review

Season 1

Episode Guide

Justice For Danny
A Mission From God
Dope Dealers with White Lab Coats
Tunnel of Hope


America has a drug problem. More than half a million Americans died from drug overdoses between 2000 and 2015, and more than half of those involved opioids. It’s a serious issue and one that went unchecked for a long time and saw the rise of what’s now more commonly referred to as Big Pharma. On the back of Hasan Minhaj’s damning investigative piece on Fentanyl, Netflix return for a four-part documentary series that exposes all of this in its rawest form from the most unlikely of sources; a middle-aged pharmacist named Dan Schneider.

After a brief family history through the years, our tale begins in 1999. Dan’s son is shot dead in the heart of 9th Ward in New Orleans; a drug-ravaged no man’s land and the last place you’d want to end up in the middle of the night. With the police uninterested, writing Dan’s son off as “just another junkie murder”, a grief-stricken Father launches a crusade to try and find out who murdered his son. Jumping head-first into the lion’s den, the truth is far more shocking and surprising than you can imagine, as twists and turns lead Dan to expose the truth, with the later episodes turning their focus upwards to Big Pharma and one doctor at the heart of this entire mess – Dr Cleggett.

Much like Dont F**k With Cats last year, The Pharmacist plays out more like a thriller than a straight forward crime documentary. The orchestral score is engrossing and intense, with a couple of surprisingly well implemented twists along the way. The first episode edits its content in such a manner that when the real killer is revealed, there’s a genuine moment of shock. There’s a few more moments like this dotted throughout the series and this makes The Pharmacist one of the best documentaries of the year so far.

Impartiality is one of the most important parts of any documentary and The Pharmacist clearly understands this. Every episode sees multiple people interviewed and whether it be Dan’s son’s killer or Big Pharma bosses, there’s a conscious effort to try and make this as fair and comprehensive a study as possible. The series absolutely shines because of this and juxtaposed against this larger-than-life story is one ordinary guy with a big heart and a drive to expose the truth. It’s an extraordinary tale and one that begins relatively straight forwardly before spiraling into something far more shocking and wide-spread. This is one of those shows where the least you know about this going into the first episode the better.

The Pharmacist will undoubtedly become one of those shows that grows in popularity through word of mouth. The archival shots are well placed, the editing is on- point right the way through and the consistent motif of  showing tapes and home footage reinforces the amateur brilliance of Dan Schneider. He managed to do what many officials were seemingly unable or unwilling to do at that time – solve a murder case and in doing so inadvertently expose a corrupt, capitalistic system built on the suffering of others. Part thriller documentary and part social reflection on the damning effect of drugs in America, The Pharmacist may just be one of the best documentary series of the year and one that, dare we say, you’ll find yourself addicted to watch through to the end.


The Pharmacist is available to watch on Netflix. Feel free to click here and sign up now to check this show out!


Click Here To Go Back To Our TV Shows

  • Verdict - 8.5/10

3 thoughts on “The Pharmacist – Netflix Season 1 Review”

  1. I certainly hope this “docuseries” does not “grow in popularity by word of mouth” as it only promotes more of the biased claims that the “Opioid epidemic” was started by and continues as a result of Dr’s over prescribing. Granted some have but 99% have not. This was started by a biased group of Dr’s who formed PROP with the agenda of Opioids are bad, we need more rehabs and illegally did not involve any Chronic Pain Patients (CPP’s), Pain MGMT Dr’s, or other Dr’s that treat chronic pain. Only rehab specialists (some of whom had never treated pain patients) and stood to gain by the ‘need’ for more rehabs which have subsequently been built.

    Addiction has been a problem since time started. From alcohol which kills over 88k a year to tobacco which kills over 480k a year to obesity that kills over 300k a year but what is done about those deaths? Nothing! None of them are treated as criminals or pariahs like CPPs and their Dr’s are. In what world would you submit to random urine tests, pill counts, allow your medical records be open to anyone (can we say Equifax breach), be told what meds you’re allowed and at what dosage whether your 90lbs or 300lbs (and given the same dosage!) Whether it controls your pain or not.

    VETERANS are now denied pain control. They’ve literally given parts of their lives and as a thank you we say too bad so sad you can’t get the pain meds you need. Thus the increased suicide rate of 22 per day. Shame on America for allowing this.

    Since the reforms that have occurred over the last 10 years scripts are dramatically down yet the od rate has drastically gone up. Why is that you ask? It’s because of all the illegal drugs coming over the border. The news is full of stories about it and if you watch Live PD, Rescue, COPS, etc it is full of Fentanyl, Heroin, Coke, and numerous offshoots that are causing it and deaths, not prescription drugs.

    CPPs would comply with ANYTHING in order to obtain the meds needed to keep the pain at a level that keeps them functional. Would give anything to work again, shop, have some sort of life that is free enough of pain that you don’t want to kill yourself because you just can’t take it anymore! Taking pain meds is never a CPPs first choice, always the last after everything else has been tried. Then CPPs are treated like addicts, with disrespect, have their meds denied to be filled for no reason, turned away from pharmacies, restrictions out the wazoo yet it must be endured. No other class of people would put up with that kind of discrimination. However CPPs can’t fight due to their conditions and pain.

    Netflix should be ashamed of not providing accurate facts as well as BOTH sides of the story. I’m sorry this gentleman lost his son but no one forced him to take the junk that killed him. The accurate figures put out by the CDC no less, is fewer than 7k people die each year from prescription Opioids. The reason for the miscalculation of 40+k deaths was due to the way death certificates were being counted. If a person had 4 illegal drugs and 1 legally prescribed Opioid in their system at time of death it was counted as FIVE Opioid deaths. Wrong, wrong, wrong! It’s too bad drugs that help you and illegal drugs share the same name thus vilifying the wrong group.

  2. Eye opening and sad… you see the tremendous effort of a person to make a change and the whole system acts against it. People die but who cares? The pharmaceuticals? The politicians? The government? As long as they earn money they keep the money coming. 400000 people… how many could be saved?

  3. This show was a joke the man who lost his son the wife the acting I am a recovering heroin addict been in and out of prison NO ONE DIED FROM THE PILL THEY SOLD THE PILLS FOR DOPE!!! How can u really believe this bs sry u lost ur son u ruined this dr life

Leave a comment