Dallas Buyers Club is a 2013 American biographical drama film written by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack, and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. The film tells the story of Ron Woodroof, an AIDS patient diagnosed in the mid 1980s when HIV/AIDS treatments were under-researched, while the disease was not understood and highly stigmatised.
As part of the experimental AIDS treatment movement, he smuggled unapproved pharmaceutical drugs into Texas for treating his symptoms, and distributed them to fellow people with AIDS by establishing the “Dallas Buyers Club” while facing opposition from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Two fictional supporting characters, Dr. Eve Saks (Jennifer Garner), and Rayon (Jared Leto), were composite roles created from interviews with transgender AIDS patients, activists, and doctors. Presidential biographer and PEN-USA winner Bill Minutaglio wrote the first magazine profile of The Dallas Buyers Club in 1992. The article, which featured interviews with Woodroof and also recreated his dramatic international exploits, attracted widespread attention from filmmakers and journalists.
In July 1985, promiscuous Dallas electrician and rodeo cowboy Ron Woodroof is diagnosed with AIDS and given 30 days to live. As a heterosexual, he initially refuses to accept the diagnosis but remembers having unprotected sex with a prostitute who was an intravenous drug user a couple years prior. He is soon ostracised by family and friends who mistakenly assume he contracted AIDS from homosexual relations. He gets fired from his job, and is eventually evicted from his home. At the hospital, he is tended to by Dr. Eve Saks, who tells him that they are testing a drug called zidovudine (AZT), an antiretroviral drug which is thought to prolong the life of AIDS patients—and is the only drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for testing on humans. Saks informs him that in the clinical trials, half the patients receive the drug and the other half a placebo, as this is the only way they can determine if the drug is working.