It’s the hidden home that opioids built, a 2,500-square-foot ranch on a sprawling lot in the White Mountains with gorgeous bistate views year-round.
And this is the home of Curtis Wright, the man instrumental in lifting the federal ban on Oxycontin — ironically in New Hampshire, one of the states hardest hit by the country’s opioid crisis.
Wright’s role in the drug scandal is coming back into the limelight thanks to the hit Netflix series Painkiller, in which he was portrayed as one of the main villains who made the epidemic possible by bowing to the wishes of Purdue Pharma, which later became Turn One fortune with the drug and then pay you back $6 billion.
He made the decision while working for the Federal Drug Administration in 1995. He then left the agency and a year later took a high-paying job at Purdue.
The real Curtis Wright doesn’t like his role in the crisis being brought up again.
Former FDA official Curtis Wright, whose role in the opioid epidemic is being put under scrutiny thanks to the Netflix show Painkillers, is now retired living in Littleton, New Hampshire
His home is modest but sits on 13 acres with great views of New Hampshire and neighboring Vermont
Wright lives in the 2,500-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bathroom home he and his wife, Linda, bought in 2017 for $380,000
‘Go away. “I don’t speak to the press,” barked the 73-year-old former senior Federal Drug Administration official when a DailyMail.com reporter reached out to him for comment on whether he felt the series portrayed his role accurately.
Wright is played by series co-creator Noah Harpster in Painkiller, a fictional drama about the origins and aftermath of the opioid crisis that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.
Wright has a bullseye set up in the backyard of his Littleton home for target practice
He is portrayed as a stickler for the rules who refused to back down when he was pressured into approving the highly addictive opioid to treat moderate to severe pain.
But Wright, overweight and socially awkward, is slowly giving in to Purdue Pharma’s efforts to stroke his ego.
The company gave him a webcam for his home computer, which allowed them to communicate with him. He was then seen in a scene holding a secret meeting in a hotel room which ended with him approving the application.
He is then seen jumping into a pool while cheerleaders wave their pompoms at a Purdue celebration.
While Painkiller takes some liberties with its fictional narrative, the series is based on the true story of how Purdue Pharma, founded by the Sackler family, pushed OxyContin into production despite allegedly knowing of its dangerous side effects, including addiction.
Today, Wright is very comfortable in his retirement in rural Littleton, New Hampshire, a town of 6,000 right on the Vermont border and just 40 miles from Canada.
He wears a gray beard, baseball cap and American Battlefield Trust overalls, and drives a black pickup truck. On Wednesday, he made his way to breakfast and met a friend for coffee and egg dishes at a diner on Main Street.
Noah Harpster plays Wright in Painkiller. Portrayed as obese and socially awkward, he is manipulated by Purdue Pharma to pave the way for the legal sale of OxyContiin
Painkiller isn’t the first time Wright’s role has been shown on television. Brian Keane played him on the 2001 Hulu series Dopesick
Wright joined Purdue Pharma a year after retiring from the FDA, where he paved the way for the legalization of Purdue’s top-selling OxyContin
Today, Wright is very comfortable in his retirement. He was spotted wearing an American Battlefield Trust baseball cap and overalls while walking to breakfast in Littleton, New Hampshire
Picturesque Littleton is a town of 6,000 people right on the New Hampshire-Vermont border and just 40 miles from Canada
His one-story, three-bedroom, three-bathroom home looks modest for a man who is said to have made $400,000 a year from Big Pharma. Public records show that he and his wife, Linda, bought the 2,500-square-foot home in 2017 for $380,000. But Zillow now estimates its value at $725,000.
Locals told DailyMail.com they had no idea the man among them played such a role in the epidemic that has hit New Hampshire hard.
According to a 2019 poll US News and World ReportNew Hampshire was hit harder by the opioid epidemic than any other state except West Virginia. The source said there had been 27.2 deaths per 100,000 people over a five-year period.
Painkiller isn’t the first television show to highlight Wright’s role in the epidemic. In 2021, he starred in the Hulu docudrama Dopesick and the HBO documentary The Crime of the Century.
But he managed to evade public attention for his now leading role in the opioid crisis. He lives in a one-story ranch-style home on the outskirts of Littleton with a sprawling lawn overlooking the mountains and a bullseye for target practice in the backyard.
When Wright actually goes into town, he blends in, an unassuming figure who mostly keeps to himself. On Wednesday, he parked his Chevy Silverado on Main Street and sauntered down the sidewalk in a baseball cap and maroon T-shirt while suspenders pulled his jeans up over his bulging stomach. He went to the Littleton Diner to meet another older friend.
The waitress recognized him as a regular, but didn’t know his full name or anything about his past.