|Keywords||AIDS, Caregivers, Catastrophe, Death and Dying, Drug Addiction, History of Medicine, Human Worth, Infectious Disease, Medical Advances, Medical Ethics, Medical Mistakes, Medical Research, Medical Testing, Nursing, Occupational Disease, Power Relations, Professionalism, Public Health, Society, Technology|
Drug-addicted but high functioning lawyer Mike Weiss (Chris Evans) and his partner Paul Danziger (Mark Kassen) run a small personal injury firm in Houston.
They agree to represent an emerency room nurse who has sustained a needle-stick injury and become infected with HIV. Through this work, they discover that a new safety syringe could avoid such injuries in the future, but the innovators are unable to bring it to market because of legal opposition from giant corporations.
The young lawyers become more and more engaged with the case, but they meet sinister opposition and the outcome is gloomy.
Based on a true story, this medico-legal thriller explores the sinister role of group purchasing organizations in the health care industry. Profits are placed over patient well-being and innovation is suppressed, while politicians duck responsibility because they depend on financial donations from the large corporations. The anti-trust violations of the group purchasing organizations and the pharmaceutical industry stifle the advent of new technology and contribute to the global shortage of generic drugs.
In real life, the syringe manufacturer filed an anti-trust lawsuit against the corporations. Michael David Weiss died in 1999 at age 32 under mysterious circumstances that were officially labeled as an overdose. His partner Danziger was involved as a producer in the making of this film. The lawsuit was eventually settled out of court for $150 million—and the safety syringe was never released.
Talking points involved the occupational hazards of needle-stick injuries and drug addiction for professionals. Another is the role of syringe re-use in causing the burgeoning AIDS epidemic in Africa.
The conclusion is realistically pessimistic.
For more on drug shortages, go to www.canadadrugshortage.com
For more on the anti-trust behavior of GPOs, see
Prakash Sethi, Group Purchasing Organizations: An Undisclosed Scandal in the U.S. Healthcare Industry. Palgrave/Macmillan, 2009
Patricia Earl and Philip L. Zweig, Connecting the Dots: How Anticompetitive Contracting Practices, Kickbacks, and Self-Dealing by Hospital Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) caused the U.S. Drug Shortage, White Paper, 10 January 2012.
Diana L. Moss, Healthcare Intermediaries: Competition and Healthcare Policy at Loggerheads? American Antitrust Institute, White Paper, 7 May 2012.
|Director||Adam Kassen, Mark Kassen|
|Leading Actors||Chris Evans, Mark Kassen|
|Studio||Like Minded Films|
|Running Time||100 minutes|
|Video Source||Millenium Entertainment|
|Miscellaneous||For more on the film and its context go to http://www.puncturemovie.com/|
|Annotated by||Duffin, Jacalyn|
|Date of Entry||08/07/12|