The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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  • Pay for Delay

    Are generic drugs delayed to market by so-called “pay-for-delay” deals between brand and generic drug manufacturers? PBS NewsHour Weekend investigated these deals and other practices that opponents like the Federal Trade Commission say are meant to impede generic competition and protect profits. PBS NewsHour Weekend profiled Karen Winkler, a 46-year-old mother of three with Multiple Sclerosis. A deal was struck over her M.S. drug that opponents say delayed the generic to market. Then, the manufacturer raised the price to get patients to switch to its new extended-release version. Unable to afford it, Karen went off the drug until it went generic in 2012. PBS NewsHour Weekend shed light on complicated, secretive pharmaceutical deals rarely examined on national TV. These deals affect thousands of patients, but few know anything about them. And in cases like Winkler’s, they can have profound consequences.
  • Google Play Store Lets Your Kid Spend Like a Drunken Sailor

    This investigation, performed under extremely tight time constraints and in the face of intense competition, delivered previously unreported consumer news about a longstanding problem that had cost customers of the world's biggest brand, Google, millions of dollars. The published report, which presented a technical problem in a dramatic and understandable way, had significant impact: It prompted Google to fix the problem within a matter of weeks; the report itself was sent by Google's biggest competitor, Apple, to the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission; the report was cited extensively as evidence in a class action suit against Google in Federal Court; and it helped lead to a settlement between Google and the Federal Trade Commission in which Google agreed to reimburse aggrieved consumers at least $19 million.
  • Phantom Debt Collectors

    Hundreds of thousands of cash-strapped Americans were being targeted by abusive debt collectors operating out of overseas call centers, part of what authorities were calling a massive scam that targeted struggling Americans -- especially those who have gone online to apply for payday loans. Armed with personal information from those pilfered applications, the threatening callers, who claimed to be debt collectors poised to initiate legal action, managed to pry loose millions of dollars from their victims -- even when the victims never owed money in the first place. It's what the Federal Trade Commission calls a "phantom debt collection scam." An ABC News investigation pried into the scam and found that, working through call centers in India, the fake debt collectors had dialed at least 2.5 million calls, persuading already cash-strapped victims to send them more than $5 million. Some reported receiving dozens of calls per hour. ABC News tracked down the man to whom FTC officials say all roads led from the scam. For the first time, the most prolific scam to hit Americans in years finally had a face.
  • Suspicions and Spies in Silicon Valley

    This investigation details the Hewlett-Packard spying scandal. It discusses how the obsession of HP chairman Patricia Dunn to root out the source of press leaks from the boardroom led to covert tracking of directors' phone records. That surveillance eventually led to Dunn's resignation and indictment by the state of California.
  • Stop thieves from stealing you

    This story, which was reported months in advance of the Federal Trade Commission's first comprehensive survey on identity theft, found that some 33 million Americans had been victimized since 1990, about 10 times as many as previously estimated. The results are very close to FTC findings. The story also details the source of thefts, the ways in which thieves steal those data, how vulnerable everyone is, and what individuals can do to protect themselves.
  • If you've got a beef with a futures broker, this judge isn't for you. In eight years at the CFTC, Levine has never ruled in favor of an investor.

    According to the article, "In his job as a federal administrative law judge, Bruce Levine decides whether aggrieved investors have been defrauded by commodity dealers and should get money back. In nearly 180 cases over eight years at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, he has a remarkable record. Except for a handful of cases in which defunct firms failed to defend themselves, Judge Levine has never ruled in favor of an investor."
  • Teaming Up to Aid Consumers

    With activism and sheer numbers, state attorneys general emerge as powers in regulating business. Targets include Big Tobacco, sweepstakes promoters, Microsoft.
  • Hanging up on the telemarketers

    There are laws regulating telemarketing and even ways to get rid of telemarketers' calls, but other devices have gotten around the rules and telemarketing is growing.
  • Prescription for Trouble

    Consumer Reports examines online pharmacies. While some are legitimate operations, other "rogue" sites can carry many risks for consumers.
  • BioPulse Clinic Shut Down

    The story looks into the "medical" practices of BioPulse International, a company that offers alternative treatments to cancer patients in its Tijuana clinic. Reports from respected medical professionals and also from patients that followed the treatments signal that, despite the promises of the BioPulse doctors and the money the patients paid, their condition was unchanged if not worse. A sustained PR campaign (with what now seams misleading information) has also boosted share prices of the company. Following the article Mexican authorities have closed the clinic and the US Federal Trade Commission opened an investigation.