Stories

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

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Search results for "drug testing" ...

  • Kaiser Health News: Liquid Gold

    Doctors across the U.S. are becoming millionaires by setting up private, on-site labs and testing urine samples for legal and illegal drugs. The simple tests are costing the U.S. government and American insurers $8.5 billion a year -- more than the entire budget of the Environmental Protection Agency, a groundbreaking investigation by Kaiser Health News showed. Doctors are testing patients - even the elderly - for opioids as well as street drugs like PCP or cocaine that almost never turn up positive. And the payoff is stunning: Testing a tiny cup of urine can bring in thousands of dollars – up to $17,000 in some cases. Yet there are no national standards for who gets tested, for what, or how often.
  • Protecting the Shield

    “Protecting the Shield” exposed the deaths and injuries caused by out-of-control rogue cops who are knowingly left on the streets by their superiors. This exhaustive indictment of government failings shows how weak police oversight cost citizens their lives, honest officers their careers and taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. Our work prompted police reforms, including random drug testing of all police officers and a statewide internal affairs overhaul.
  • Bad Chemistry: Annie Dookhan And The Massachusetts Drug Lab Crisis

    In August 2012, a drug testing laboratory in Boston was closed by the state of Massachusetts. Initial reports simply stated the shutdown was because a chemist working in the lab ‘failed to follow testing protocols.’ In the months that followed, state officials alleged that the chemist — Annie Dookhan — had not just mishandled criminal evidence but had falsified drug results by deliberately tainting and mixing evidence in tens of thousands of criminal cases. As of this writing, the state has provided what it says is a ‘master list’ of affected cases, and puts that number at roughly 43,000. However, recent court filings question the accuracy of that number. WBUR didn’t want to just follow the latest twists and turns of this story, we wanted to understand how one chemist could cause such a chain reaction that stretched to all corners of the criminal justice system. We wanted to pursue an iterative investigative journalism approach - to show our work mid-process, use data-driven analysis and be transparent about what we didn't know. To date, WBUR is the only news organization to have published an analysis of the testing data.
  • 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.
  • Trial and Error

    “Trial and Error” is a year-long investigation into the way pharmaceutical drugs are tested and approved for sale in the United States. Our report examined the strength of the safety net that is supposed to ensure that the billion-dollar blockbuster drug of today won’t be the dangerous drug of tomorrow.
  • Chantix: Miracle cure for dangerous drug?

    An investigation into the anti-smoking drug Chantix/Varenicline found many adverse reactions in the FDA's public database. The reactions included aggression, violent behavior and thoughts of suicide. "A follow report detailed how drugs are sent to market with minimal testing."
  • Leaks in the System

    KMSP-TV found that oversight for drug testing of commercial truckers was lax. This allowed truckers to adulterate or substitute specimens in order to pass a test. Also they found that despite drug test being required, companies in Minnesota and Wisconsin continue to put drivers behind the wheel without testing them first. Lastly, they exposed a loophole that allowed failed drivers to keep working in the industry.
  • No one is watching

    "The articles investigated how schools in Division I-A college athletics test for drugs and the results of the testing. The Tribune found most schools do not test for performance-enhancing drugs and there are disparities in testing and punishments from school to school."
  • Steroids and the NFL

    This investigation exposed steroid and human growth hormone abuse by several professional football players who received prescriptions from a doctor who was subsequently indicted for prescribing them. The NFL drug testing program failed to detect the players' steroid use. This failure exposed loopholes in the NFL's substance abuse policies.
  • Baylor University Basketball Scandal

    "After a Baylor University athlete disappeared, and was later found slain, questions were raised about whether coaches knew about drug use and threats among basketball players and whether some players had received improper payments. In a cover - up scheme, Baylor University basketball coach Dave Bliss denied knowledge of any drug use or threats. Bliss also directed players and other coaches to tell investigators that the dead athlete was a drug dealer." This investigation revealed Bliss' record, exposed flaws in the university's drug - testing program, explained how the university bent the rules to accommodate Bliss and examined the record of a new assistant hired after the university promised a clean up.