From human guinea pigs testing drugs for pay to behind-the-scenes marketers to consumers struggling with life-altering illness, Off Label examines the medicated margins of American society through the stories of eight lives haunted by the commercialization of medicine and personal identity.
In Iowa City a 22 year old army medic last stationed at Abu Ghraib prison struggles with the VA to find treatment to cope with PTSD. In Minneapolis a woman fights for reform after her son commits grisly suicide in an anti-depressant marketing study. In Rochester a young vagabond couple pay for their wedding by doing drug trials for money. In Santa Cruz a woman takes eighteen different prescriptions and lives in a roadside Bigfoot Museum. In Philadelphia an aging African American Muslim recounts the horrific experiments conducted upon him while he was imprisoned and forgives those who destroyed his physical health. In Milwaukee an eccentric medical anthropologist tracks the course and influence of the drug market he once helped shape as a drug rep for Pfizer. From these and other interwoven stories a tragic and bleakly comic look at life, health, and faith in the Twilight Zone of American pharmaceuticals emerges. Welcome to the strange pharmacy that is America.