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 "pills" ...

  • 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.
  • WaPo: 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 pharmacies that were specifically responsible for bringing those pills in. 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, in some places more than enough for one pill per person per day in some communities. The Post also found that opioid death rates tracked quite well with the rates of pills being shipped into those counties. And The Post identified counties and pharmacies with suspicious patterns and amounts of pills. In making the data available in county- and pharmacy-level chunks, The Post allowed reporters from other organizations across the country to write stories about their own communities and the impact that pills had on them.
  • 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.
  • Houston Chronicle: Silent Spills

    A joint investigation by the two news organizations (Houston Chronicle and AP)found that industrial spills unleashed by Hurricane Harvey in Houston were far worse than publicly reported. Impacted citizens were kept in the dark about their size and seriousness. State and federal officials misled the public with repeated assurances that no health hazards existed. Six months after Harvey, Texas regulators had not announced a single enforcement action from 89 incidents investigated. Reporters from the Chronicle and AP filed dozens of records requests, unearthing long-hidden government-funded research and cross-referencing spill data collected from a hodgepodge of state and local agencies to determine the true scope of the damage. The vital watchdog role they performed highlighted a lack of will by Texas state regulators to effectively police the petrochemical industry. But its industry-friendly approach had weakened local efforts to build cases against the worst polluters, many of them repeat environmental offenders.
  • They Shared Drugs. Someone Died. Does That Make Them Killers?

    This was a year-long investigation of the prosecution of accidental drug overdoses as homicides. It is the first and only story to attempt to quantify the national scale of this emerging trend using court data. It also involved a review of 82 individual cases in Pennsylvania to examine where defendants fit on the user-dealer continuum and whether they were drug users themselves.
  • Flood-related spills ignored by TX officials

    The El Paso Times exposed the fact that even though they had civil-air patrol photos of them, Texas officials have mostly ignored scores of spills of oil and fracking fluid during severe floods in recent years. When they reported on the photos, which were posted on an obscure government website, the Texas Department of Public Safety ended public access to them. After subsequent reporting and editorializing, officials returned them to public view. They obtained and analyzed scores of regulatory reports to rebut regulators' claims that they respond to every spill. The problematic responses to the spills, however, continue.
  • 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.
  • Medical Misbehavior

    In Human Testing, we exclusively expose the heartbreaking story of human experimentation done by the federal government and major teaching and research hospitals. In Bitter Pills, we trace the horrifying journey of a young man who grew large breasts as an alleged side effect of Risperdal, a drug that doctors widely misprescribed for unapproved uses in children. Medical misbehavior is an under-reported topic that we have a keen interest in, since it’s difficult for many news organizations to tackle the issue today (due to advertising by medical interests). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bFGi1MJnt8
  • 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.
  • In North Dakota Oilfield Spill Problems Worsen; State Officials Misrepresent North Dakota’s Spill Problem

    Wastewater - also called saltwater or brine - is a common by product of oil and gas drilling. Wastewater spills are a common occurrence in North Dakota's oilfield. Inside Energy looked into state data to find out HOW common, and then used this analysis when the largest saltwater spill in state history occurred in January of 2015. We found that spills were on the increase, and that state officials regularly downplayed or misrepresented the spills. While oil spills generate headlines, wastewater spills are more devastating and can leave farmland sterile for generations.