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 "painkillers" ...

  • Painkiller Profiteers

    The Gazette-Mail tracked the deluge of prescription opioids into West Virginia, following them to individual counties, pharmacies and families. The newspaper's investigation found that drug distributors shipped 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills to West Virginia in just six years, a period when 1,728 people fatally overdosed on those two painkillers.
  • Pain pill abuse in Alabama

    Our series explored the pills to heroin pipeline and heroin arrests; the Dr. Feelgoods that prescribe painkillers at alarming rates; the links between pain pills and fatal overdoses; and the inside operations at a national pill mill in Mobile, Alabama. The problem has gotten so bad that federal authorities cracked down on pain doctors in the state as the number of painkiller clinics grew to more than 400.
  • PUSHING PAIN: PROFITS BEFORE PATIENTS

    The amount of painkillers dispensed in the U.S. nearly quadrupled from 1999-2010 even though the amount of pain Americans have reported has not changed, resulting in what the Centers for Disease Control and prevention calls an epidemic which takes over twenty thousand lives each year. This was an impetus for Reporter Dina Gusovsky to investigate a publicly traded specialty pharmaceutical company called Insys Therapeutics, which is accused of contributing to these grim statistics. It’s main revenue generating drug is a highly addictive opiate one hundred times more powerful that morphine, which the FDA says should only be used for late stage cancer pain; however, the company is now being investigated in at least six states for pushing the drug far beyond cancer patients, engaging in kickback schemes, off-label marketing, and other illegal business practices all in attempt to grow profits. Two days after our report first aired, which included exclusive interviews with whistleblowers and investigators, the company’s CEO resigned. http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000444339&play=1 http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000445892&play=1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9Uy3eDqzUc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JP28vnux3yI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXFetMnNJSk
  • ‘Banking On Failing:’ Opiate Addiction & The Insurance Struggle

    As Wisconsin’s heroin and opiate painkiller overdoses hit epidemic levels, desperate parents say the current insurance system, which they are depending on to help them save their addicted children's lives, is instead banking on their children's failure. https://vimeo.com/matthewsimonjournalist/review/146988583/89d839bc07 https://vimeo.com/matthewsimonjournalist/review/146988570/e9716e1e80
  • Killers & Pain

    In her series Killers & Pain, Mary Beth Pfeiffer went where other media outlets have yet to go on a painkiller abuse epidemic whose devastation cannot be understated: 22,000 American lives lost in 2012 in overdoses from prescribed drugs like oxycodone. While the epidemic's story has been told elsewhere, Pfeiffer broke new ground. She laid blame on doctors at the epidemic’s heart, finding twin failures of physician oversight -- by regulators charged with assuring doctors do no harm and a justice system that gave drug-dealing doctors special treatment. Beyond this, the Journal was the first news outlet in New York to link a rush to heroin to a state law intended to curb painkiller abuse. It also documented massive over-prescribing, and, perhaps most importantly, humanized an epidemic that has ravaged communities served by the Poughkeepsie Journal. Pfeiffer’s June 29 profile of "The Dutchess 63" is a heart-breaking investigative portrait of real-world pain.
  • Death and Dysfunction at VA

    In four original investigative reports (plus follow-ups) examining the Veterans Health Administration, CBS News uncovered serious problems surrounding patient care at VA facilities across the country. We uncovered patient deaths due to the mismanagement of an infectious disease outbreak at the Pittsburgh VA. We discovered VA doctors across the country felt pressured to prescribe strong narcotic painkillers to veterans instead of treating the underlying cause of their pain (narcotic prescriptions at VA are up 259% since 2002). We found veterans are dying at a 33% higher rate than the general population of accidental prescription narcotic overdose. We interviewed a VA doctor who was retaliated against for blowing the whistle on a dangerous shortage of mental healthcare providers at the Wilmington VA. We also found VA administrators are receiving large bonuses from the federal government despite serious allegations of poor patient care at the hospitals they oversee.
  • Reveal - The VA's Opiate Overload

    Many veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are addicted to prescription painkillers. The Center for Investigative Reporting and Aaron Glantz investigated the extent of the problem and substantiated the government’s role in feeding veterans’ addictions to dangerous narcotic painkillers. In the summer of 2013, The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain, 12 years of prescription data from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The CIR analysis exposed a startling 270 percent increase in the number of opiate prescriptions in Department of Veterans Affairs’ hospitals, a phenomenon that had contributed to a fatal overdose rate among VA patients that was nearly double the national average. On Sept..28th, CIR reporter, Aaron Glantz’s investigation, The VA’s Opiate Overload, premiered on Reveal, a new radio program showcasing investigative reporting. The riveting documentary detailed how the Department of Veterans Affairs became the drug dealer of choice for many veterans caught in the trap of prescription painkillers.
  • Inside the Locker Room: Shooting Away the Pain

    An exclusive ABC News investigation in a partnership with ESPN discovered that tucked away in college training rooms, underneath the stadium, is a closely-held secret of team doctors using powerful prescription painkillers to get student athletes on the field, despite painful injuries, regardless of the price to their health. Painkiller shots given in college sports locker rooms, often called “The Magic Shot” by players, have long been rumored but kept hush-hush in the sporting world. The collaboration between the ABC News Brian Ross Investigative Team and ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” was a groundbreaking effort by major news organizations to document and expose the dangerous practice.
  • The VA's Opiate Overload

    Many veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are addicted to prescription painkillers. The Center for Investigative Reporting and Aaron Glantz investigated the extent of the problem and substantiated the government’s role in feeding veterans’ addictions to dangerous narcotic painkillers. In the summer of 2013, The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain, 12 years of prescription data from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The CIR analysis exposed a startling 270 percent increase in the number of opiate prescriptions in Department of Veterans Affairs’ hospitals, a phenomenon that had contributed to a fatal overdose rate among VA patients that was nearly double the national average. On Sept..28th, CIR reporter, Aaron Glantz’s investigation, The VA’s Opiate Overload, premiered on Reveal, a new radio program showcasing investigative reporting. The riveting documentary detailed how the Department of Veterans Affairs became the drug dealer of choice for many veterans caught in the trap of prescription painkillers.
  • Returning Home to Battle

    Returning Home to Battle was a yearlong campaign of coverage by The Center for Investigative Reporting that examined conditions greeting veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. CIR’s investigation had two main areas of emphasis, one in each of the major federal government bureaucracies created to help veterans: VA benefits and VA healthcare. One delved into the reasons hundreds of thousands of veterans were waiting for disability compensation decisions. The other questioned the VA’s over-use of heavily addictive narcotic painkillers, which has contributed to an overdose rate among the agency’s patients of nearly double the national average. Both investigations exposed unique information and provided localized data never before available to the public. Both prompted immediate results.