The Pharmacist on Netflix true story: Who is Jacqueline Cleggett?

The big questions from your latest binge-watch answered

The Pharmacist - Netflix

The Pharmacist has landed on Netflix and centres itself around the 1991 murder of Danny Schneider.

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The four-part series is told from the perspective of Danny’s father, Daniel, as he went about investigating the death – but actually found some harrowing truths about the use of opioids in New Orleans and it’s surrounding area.

Here’s everything you need to know about The Pharmacist.

Is The Pharmacist a true story? Who is Daniel Schneider?

The Pharmacist is a completely true story, looking at the murder of Danny Schneider.

His father, Daniel Schneider was working as a pharmacist in Louisiana’s St Bernard Parish where he met wife, Annie, who he would go on to have two children with: Danny and Kristi.

Danny, who is described in the Netflix series as “good natured”, “creative” and “compassionate” was just 22 when he died.

The Pharmacist - Dan Schneider and family
The Pharmacist – Dan Schneider and family
Netflix

When he was last seen, Danny told his parents he would be going out to study with friends, but at 2am the following day, the police arrived to tell them their son had been killed.

Danny was found in his red Ford Ranger pick-up truck having sustained a shot to the head. He was carrying some cash in his hands.

The authorities told Schneider how his son had most likely been killed while trying to buy crack cocaine in the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans.

At the time, the police were dealing with a large number of murder cases in the New Orleans area, with Police Sergeant Fanguy saying: “One out of every two hundred dope deals somebody gets stupid and somebody gets shot.”

Naturally, Schneider was disgruntled by the police’s investigation and decided to take matters into his own hands, and began campaigning.

After hard work, Schneider eventually found the person responsible for Danny’s murder and brought them to justice – but it opened the door for him to make a huge discovery.

What did Daniel Schneider discover about opioid use in New Orleans?

Schneider continued working in the pharmacy after Danny’s death but seemed to notice odd trends: there was an astonishing number of young, apparently healthy kids with prescriptions for Oxycontin.

The drug is an opioid-based medication which is used to help with severe and ongoing pain. It’s most notably given to patients suffering from cancer.

Schneider eventually found Dr Jacqueline Cleggett was prescribing Oxycontin illegally – charging patients a $400 fee for the drugs.

Who is Jacqueline Cleggett?

Dr Jacqueline Cleggett was behind a “pill mill” in the St Bernard parish on the outskirts of New Orleans. She had claimed to be a specialist, but only worked on people seeking their next hit.

She says in The Pharmacist how she wanted to be a doctor from the age of eight, got her training from Morehouse School of Medicine.

Cleggett married a doctor, had three children, and then later divorced. She practiced family medicine and worked for Gulf South Medical Consultants where she worked for personal injury clients. She later set up her own practice on the side.

Her so-called pill mill operated from a seedier part of town and she often saw patients late at night in her crowded room.

It’s stated in The Pharmacist by one law enforcement that she prescribed over 180,000 Oxycontin pills and took around $2 million. Cleggett insisted she had never used the opioids herself, but later had to when she was involved in a car crash in 2002.

In 2007, Cleggett was charged with illegal distribution of OxyContin, Vicodin, methadone and other drugs between a time period of June 2000 and February 2002. She pled down to one count of conspiring to dispense and distribute controlled substances in 2009 and was given a three months sentence.

She has had her medical license revoked but maintains she never done anything she has been accused of.

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The Pharmacist is available to stream on Netflix now