Stories

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

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "manufacturers" ...

  • The Opioid Files

    The Opioid Files for the first time identified not only the counties flooded with the highest amount of prescription opioid pills at the height of the prescription drug crisis, but the specific manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies that were responsible for bringing those pills into communities. The Post found that over a seven-year period from 2006-2012, over 76 billion pills of hydrocodone and oxycodone were shipped to pharmacies across the country, more than enough for one pill per person in some communities. The Post also found that opioid death rates tracked with the rates of pills being shipped into those counties. And The Post identified counties and pharmacies with suspicious patterns and large amounts of pain pills. In making the data available by county- and pharmacy-level, The Post gave reporters from across the country the opportunity to write stories about their own communities and the impact that pills had on them.
  • Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom

    The widespread use of generic drugs has been hailed as one of the most important public health developments of the twenty-first century. Today, 90 percent of the U.S. pharmaceutical market is comprised of generic drugs, the majority of which are manufactured overseas. We have been reassured by our doctors, our pharmacists and our regulators that generic drugs are identical to their brand-name counterparts, just less expensive. But is this really true? Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom exposes for the first time the endemic fraud behind generic drug manufacturing –and the attendant risks for global public health.The narrative investigation interweaves the stories of a determined whistleblower, an intrepid FDA investigator and drug manufacturers determined to deceive regulators. Reported on four continents over a ten-year period, and drawing on 20,000 pages of confidential FDA documents, the book uncovers how one of the world’s greatest public health innovations also became one of its most astonishing swindles. Bottle of Lies uncovers a global industry where companies routinely falsify quality data, and executives circumvent almost every principle of safe manufacturing to minimize cost and maximize profit. Meanwhile, patients unwittingly consume medicine with unpredictable and dangerous effects.
  • CNN Exclusive: The more opioids doctors prescribe, the more money they make

    As tens of thousands of Americans die from prescription opioid overdoses each year, an exclusive analysis by CNN and researchers at Harvard University found that opioid manufacturers are paying physicians huge sums of money -- and the more opioids a doctor prescribes, the more money he or she makes. In 2014 and 2015, opioid manufacturers paid hundreds of doctors across the country six-figure sums for speaking, consulting and other services. Thousands of other doctors were paid over $25,000 during that time. Physicians who prescribed particularly large amounts of the drugs were the most likely to get paid.
  • Frankenstein Guardrails

    The FOX31 Denver’s investigative unit discovered Colorado Department of Transportation maintenance crews assembling guardrail systems with mix-and-match parts from competing manufacturers. By “Frankensteining” already questionable end-cap terminals, with incompatible rails, the state had been creating serious road safety hazards for years. Within a week of the revelation, the Federal Highway Administration ordered a nationwide warning and Colorado began inspecting every guardrail system in the state (42,000 end-cap terminals/21,000 guardrail systems), repairing hundreds of dangerous installation errors.
  • 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.
  • ABC News 20/20 Brian Ross Investigates: Recall Roulette

    Our ABC News investigation, “Recall Roulette,” found that most recalled products are not turned in or fixed, remaining in homes or listed for sale. Under current federal law, there is no minimum effort that manufacturers have to make, or money they have to spend, to get the word out about the safety recalls. It is illegal to sell a recalled product, but in a joint investigation with 17 ABC News affiliates across the country, reporters found a wide range of recalled products easily available for resale. And in his first major interview, the new head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission called out Craigslist for not doing enough to thwart recalled products from being posted on the site, calling it “morally irresponsible.”
  • Protecting the Players - How safe are your school’s helmets?

    Gannett stations across the country sent FOIA requests to school districts requesting the brand and model of every helmet being placed on the heads of high school athletes in our communities. We took those lists and compared the helmets to Virginia Tech’s Star Rating System (used by the NFL). In all of the 16 markets we investigated, we found numerous schools allowing students to use helmets “not recommended for use” according to Virginia Tech, which found the lower-rated helmets increased concussion risks. We also discovered that many high school athletic associations claimed they were not familiar with the Virginia Tech research, and they only used a system run by the helmet manufacturers to rate helmets.
  • USAT: Unfit for Flight

    "Unfit for Flight" reveals the hidden dangers of private aviation by exposing how manufacturers let defective parts and designs remain in place for decades, federal investigators fail to find defects because they do cursory crash investigations, and federal regulators let manufacturers build brand-new aircraft under safety standards that are decades old. The series exposes manufacturer negligence that has led companies to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in legal settlements, many of them confidential and reported for the first time.
  • Exposing Missouri's Secret Execution Drug Source

    For the past several months, St. Louis Public Radio's Chris McDaniel and Véronique LaCapra have been investigating Missouri's execution process and the legal and ethical questions around how the state is obtaining its execution drug. Since most drug manufacturers don’t want their products used for lethal injection, Missouri has had to go to great lengths to find a supply. In October, our reporting uncovered that the state had turned to an unauthorized distributor. Then, at the direction of Missouri’s Governor, the Department of Corrections switched to a different execution drug. But they didn’t stop there – they also changed the rules to make it illegal to reveal the source of the drug. After at least a dozen open records requests and numerous interviews with pharmacy experts, our investigation has revealed that the state is obtaining its drug from an Oklahoma compounding pharmacy that isn’t licensed in Missouri. Under normal circumstances, that could be a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison. Our reporting has led lawyers representing Missouri’s death row inmates to file a complaint with the Missouri Board of Pharmacy, demanding they stop the state from illegal importation of its execution drug. And several state lawmakers have called for an appointed commission to investigate the Department of Corrections, and for executions to be put on hold while the General Assembly looks into the issue.
  • Exploding Gas Cans

    Our report alerted consumers to a danger that sits in almost every garage and sparked action at the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Red plastic gas cans, the kind used to do things like fill up lawn equipment, are exploding while people use them and some experts say the explosions could be prevented if manufacturers would include a device called a flame arrestor in their product design. Our series warned viewers about what could happen, exposed lawsuits where companies were sued for making faulty products, and asked manufacturers why they haven’t included this life saving product modification.