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 "pharmaceutical industry" ...

  • Medicaid, Under the Influence

    Medicaid, Under the Influence: A joint investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and NPR showed how the pharmaceutical industry has infiltrated nearly every part of the often opaque process that determines how their drugs will be covered by taxpayers.
  • The Center for Public Integrity and NPR: Medicaid, Under the Influence

    A joint investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and NPR produced a damning examination of one key reason why Medicaid costs are soaring: The pharmaceutical industry has infiltrated the systems that states use to control Medicaid drug costs.
  • Merchants of Meth

    I exposed a concerted and well-funded campaign by the country’s leading pharmaceutical companies to defeat bills in Congress and state legislatures that were aimed at stopping the spread of toxic methamphetamine labs. At issue? Pseudoephedrine sales. The popular decongestant is the one key ingredient needed to make homemade meth. It also generates revenue for major pharmaceutical firms such as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Merck of more than $600 million a year. Fuelled by easy access to pseudoephedrine, the number of meth labs in the United States has increased by more than 60 percent since 2007. Thanks in large part to pharmaceutical industry lobbying, there has been no federal legislation to address the spread of meth labs since 2005. In 2006, Oregon successfully moved to restrict meth cooks’ access to pseudoephedrine by making it a prescription drug, despite heavy lobbying against the bill from the pharmaceutical industry. Since then, the number of meth labs in the state has fallen drastically—by more than 90 percent. Faced with the mounting social, law enforcement, and environmental costs associated with meth, legislators in at least 25 other states sought to pass similar laws. But pharmaceutical lobbyists fought back, and in all but one state—Mississippi—the bills were defeated. My reporting examined how the industry has set state lobbying spending records as it has deployed a new kind of lobbying strategy to block regulation of pseudoephedrine. Instead of focusing their efforts on courting politicians, they have taken their message directly to voters, deploying thousands of robocalls in key electoral districts and large ad buys in major media markets for advertising across multiple platforms from radio to the Internet. Their messaging, I found, was deceptive, failing to even mention that the proposed bills had to do with combatting the meth epidemic. I also examined the results of an electronic pseudoephedrine sales tracking database known as NPLEx, which is meant to prevent excessive purchasing. While it’s the only reform to ever earn backing from the pharmaceutical industry, I found a system full of holes that has been ineffective at preventing the spread of meth labs in virtually every state that has adopted it.
  • 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.
  • ADHD NATION

    How sloppy practices by doctors and intensive marketing by the pharmaceutical industry have made the diagnosis of A.D.H.D., and the prescribing of drugs with significant risks, alarmingly common.
  • Behind the Label

    This documentary exposes an unregulated system that financially rewards the overmedication of children with antipsychotic drugs. "Some states, doctors, agencies and even certain foster parents profit at the expense of children's health - driven by complicated state funding formulas and the influence of the pharmaceutical industry."
  • Under the Influence

    This story was the "first in-depth television piece done looking into the 2003 Medicare bill." The investigation researched congressmen who received lucrative employment contracts in the pharmaceutical industry, "why prescription drug costs are the highest in the United States, and why it's illegal to import cheaper drugs from Canada or Mexico."
  • Pushing Prescriptions in the States

    In 2003 and 2004; the pharmaceutical industry "spent more than $44 million lobbying state governments to counter their moves to slash prices." California ($8.9 million), Texas ($6.1 million) and New York ($4.3 million) made up 40 percent of all the lobbying.
  • Pushing Agenda; How the drug industry sells its agenda at your expense

    The series tracked the political influence of the pharmaceutical industry in Washington and across the country. More money was spent on pharmaceutical lobbying than any other industry resulting in a series of favorable laws on Capitol Hill, including industry friendly FDA policy, defeat of legislative measures to contain prices and billions of dollars in profit.
  • Merck Suppressed Vioxx Dangers

    NPR reveals how Merck conducted a sophisticated campaign to hide the health risks of Vioxx from physicians over many years. This was done long before it pulled the painkiller from the market in 2004 because of a study that showed that Vioxx increased the risk of heart attacks, strokes and death.