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A FATAL CURE

A loyal PR consultant rudely awakens when mysterious deaths confront her with the fiercely saved secrets about BigPharm’s happiness pills.

SYNOPSIS

Helena is the hub in the tightly knitted PR department in a pharmaceutical company. The Vice President – her confidant – rewards her loyalty with a generous raise. While the team celebrates, the VP turns up to announce a campaign for the company’s trump card, a new stress-reducing drug. He also introduces a new colleague, a legal expert hired to keep an eye on pitfalls.

She sees a TV news-item about a man, who after using a similar drug is rushed to hospital and dies. Shocked, she shares her concern with the team, only to be scoffed at by the legal adviser. She seeks comfort and advice from her daughter, a physician, who recounts the case of one of her patients who died in the same way. Helena is in doubt but to keep her conscience clear she suggests that the company warn users about the risk. Now the legal expert slanders her.

Backed up by warnings from the Pharmaceutical Agency, Helena sharpens her arguments about the company’s responsibility. The legal expert makes up far-fetched statements to stop her. The colleagues swallow his explanations whole, block Helena’s warning to the users and stigmatize her as paranoid.

A stressed colleague takes one of the pills and becomes comatose. The doctor pretends to need a list of the pills’ ingredients for treatment and tricks Helena, still in shock, to give it to him. She has broken her vow of confidentiality to save a dear colleague and has put her own future at stake.

She contacts an old lawyer friend for help. He reassures her that the doctor’s note to the authorities probably will drown in bureaucracy. Hoping to distract attention from her broken vow, she warns the VP that the colleague’s coma demonstrates that use of the drug involves a risk. He brushes it off, referring to the firm’s solid testing program. Hoping to get rid of the legal adviser, she also presents proof for the VP that he never studied law, he is a fraud.

The VP informs the CEO that the legal adviser left his last company in chaos. The CEO shields the legal adviser. To get rid of Helena, the legal adviser makes the CEO believe that she is behind alarming stories in the media. The CEO intimidates the VP to expose her or else …

Now the legal adviser plants the idea that the coma was caused by an overdose. Helena digs the pill bottle up from under a book case and hands it to the VP. He finds out that five pills are missing and follows the overdose theory. What is real and what is sheer fabrication? Desperate about her broken vow and in doubt about the overdose, Helena contacts her ex, now an established pharmaceutical scientist He reveals that the mysterious deaths are caused by a forbidden and secret opioid in the drug. Information about the risk will only give the patients a false sense of security. Together they confront the CEO and the VP. It turns out that the VP was kept in the dark. He cancels the campaign, sacks the CEO and the legal adviser and promotes Helena.

Helena is like Erin Brockovich, she finds out what is real and confronts those in power.

A 104 page WGA registered script.

Script Excerpt
Written by:
Format:
Screenplay
Genres:
Budget:
Modest
Starring Roles For:
Meryl Streep type
Woman 50 skinny
Man 45 short thin
In the Vein Of:
Erin Brokovitch
Ten angry men
none
Posted:
09/29/2016
Updated:
01/04/2020
Author Bio:
I got the idea for the story when there was a fierce discussion in the media here in Denmark about sociopaths wrecking people’s lives and ruining whole companies. I have met some myself. As a grass root activist I have seen such things happen. Safeguarded as I was by my job at the university, I asked myself ‘why don’t people do something about the atrocities they face?’ Helena is the exception that proves the rule. That is how the story began to take shape.

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Contest Results:
International Independent (Second Place, silver) [2017]