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 "pharmaceuticals" ...

  • Dollars for Docs

    ProPublica first published Dollars for Docs, our comprehensive database of payments to doctors made by pharmaceutical companies for speaking, consulting, etc., in 2010. Millions of people have looked up their doctors, and hundreds of news organizations have used the data to tell important investigative stories. But it was only this year that, thanks to some painstaking work, we were able to match pharmaceutical payments with prescribing habits. And our findings were dispositive: Doctors who take payments tend to prescribe more brand-name drugs. Moreover, thousands of doctors who have had disciplinary actions against them by their state licensing boards are still getting pharma payments, and a greater share of physicians who work at for-profit hospitals take payments compared to those working at nonprofit or government facilities. https://projects.propublica.org/docdollars/ https://projects.propublica.org/graphics/d4d-hospital-lookup
  • Revealed: Pfizer's Payments To Censured Doctors

    They are as billed as "healthcare professionals who spend years building expertise in their fields." Using material surrounded in science, they educate their peers in the risks and benefits of drugs. This is how Pfizer, the pharmaceuticals giant, describes the experts it hires to lead forums in which doctors are lectured on the use of its products.
  • Risk/Reward

    An investigation into the nation’s flawed system for approving new drugs, which allows pharmaceutical companies to produce expensive products of dubious value that put patients at risk.
  • Farmaceuticals

    A Reuters investigation details the drugs fed to farm animals and the risks posed to humans.
  • Hooked: Canada's Pill Problem

    Which Canadians pop the most pills? What's the correlation between prescription, abuse and deaths connected to potent opioids? What happens when you crack down on one widely abuse opioid - but only one? We created an original database tracking opioid prescriptions across provinces and compared that with data on abuse and opioid-related deaths. We spoke with people who've lost loved ones to opioid use, to the companies manufacturing these drugs and the policy-makers trying to combat their abuse. Our data shed new light on the topic and gave health ministers something new on which to act.
  • Haves and Have-Nots: Uganda's drug-trial business is booming - but is it fair?

    Drug trials in developing nations around the world are growing exponentially. They are cheap. Rules are more lax. Uganda is one of the leading places in the world where this trend is taking place. In one of the world’s AIDS epicenters, in Gulu, northern Uganda, children are given a choice: be part of a drug trial involving risky treatment and at least get regular medications. Or rely on public health programs that often mean regularly missing required dosages of life-saving pharmaceuticals. The result is emblematic of a system where the ethics of drug trials face a grim reality. “The problem is that inadequate medical care creates a strong impetus for parents to agree to have their kids in research,” said Elizabeth Woeckner, president of Citizens for Responsible Care and Research, an organization that works to protect people who are the subjects of scientific research. “What should be voluntary is not quite so.” In the last five years, drug trials in Uganda have nearly doubled. There have been more than 100 trials in the last five years there. Drug companies such as Bristol Myers Squibb, Pfizer and Novartis, as well as American agencies, including the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute, work in places like Uganda because of the low cost and the number of patients who will sign up quickly for tests. At the same time, public funding for global health is diminishing. Despite safeguards, since the late 1990s a number of well-publicized cases have highlighted tests that appeared to violate ethical standards and regulations. While signing up for a trial is voluntary, that doesn’t make the decision easier – especially for parents who must decide what is best for their children, and knowing that the alternative means. This in-depth investigation goes beyond the surface to show the tough choices that arise from even the best intentioned drug trials, the vast sums of money at stake, and the seismic shift that has happened in the past decade for how the world tests drugs on humans.
  • Supplement Shell Game

    An investigation by USA TODAY reporter Alison Young revealed that a wide array of dietary supplement companies selling products dangerously spiked with hidden pharmaceuticals are headed by executives with criminal backgrounds and run-ins with regulators. They’re convicted felons, thieves, drug addicts, narcotic sellers and more, the reporting revealed. And once they enter the lucrative, $30-billion-a-year supplement business, almost anything goes. Criminals turned supplement entrepreneurs have repeatedly put risky products on the market through a changing series of companies as overwhelmed regulators struggled to keep up. Their pills and powders have included everything from a sleep-aid laced with a powerful anti-psychotic drug, to a widely sold workout supplement spiked with a methamphetamine-like chemical never before tested on people.
  • Pharma’s Windfall: The Mining of Rare Diseases

    In 1983, California congressman Henry Waxman helped pass the Orphan Drug Act to encourage research on rare diseases. The law offered financial incentives to drug makers in hopes they would tackle long-neglected disorders while breaking even or posting modest profits. Ever since, the Orphan Drug Act was lauded as government at its finest, praised for providing a boon in generating new pharmaceuticals. But by the act’s 30th anniversary, The Seattle Times found that the law’s good intentions had been subverted. In what amounts to a windfall, the pharmaceutical industry has exploited this once-obscure niche of the healthcare field, turning rare diseases into a multibillion dollar enterprise and the fastest-growing sector of America’s prescription-drug system. The series, “Pharma’s Windfall: The Mining of Rare Diseases,” uses extensive data from the FDA and NIH, along with financial reports from the SEC to show the financial incentives behind the system. For the human repercussions, the reporters found and told the stories of families struggling with rare disease.
  • Supplement Shell Game

    An investigation by USA TODAY reporter Alison Young revealed that a wide array of dietary supplement companies selling products dangerously spiked with hidden pharmaceuticals are headed by executives with criminal backgrounds and run-ins with regulators. They’re convicted felons, thieves, drug addicts, narcotic sellers and more, the reporting revealed. And once they enter the lucrative, $30-billion-a-year supplement business, almost anything goes. Criminals turned supplement entrepreneurs have repeatedly put risky products on the market through a changing series of companies as overwhelmed regulators struggled to keep up. Their pills and powders have included everything from a sleep-aid laced with a powerful anti-psychotic drug, to a widely sold workout supplement spiked with a methamphetamine-like chemical never before tested on people.
  • Cracks in the Empire: Inside Johnson & Johnson

    Johnson & Johnson, the gold standard of corporate America for its single-minded devotion to its customers, is fending off federal, state and consumer allegations that the company harmed and cheated the ill. The Press found that the New Brunswick, NJ-based copmany set its sights in the last decade on making record profits but at a high cosst. Its main OTC pain reliever company was shut down in part for being too dirty. Thousands of hip replacement patients say the device failed inside their bodies, causing them great pain.