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 [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "prescriptions" ...

  • The Prescribers

    We found that Medicare’s massive prescription drug program, in its drive to get drugs into patients' hands, failed to properly monitor safety. An analysis of four years of Medicare prescription records shows that some doctors and other health professionals across the country prescribed large quantities of drugs that were potentially harmful, disorienting or addictive. One Florida doctor gave hundreds of dementia patients antipsychotic medications despite a black box warning that it increases the risk of death. And more than half the top prescribers of Oxycontin, the most-abused painkiller, faced criminal charges or discipline against their professional licenses, or had been terminated from state Medicaid programs -- but retained their ability to prescribe in Medicare. Federal officials have done little to detect or deter these hazardous prescribing patterns. A subsequent story found that many of the top prescribers of highly advertised drugs within Medicare’s drug program had financial ties to the makers of the drugs. We also built an interactive news application that lets consumers to look up their physicians and see how their prescribing patterns compare to those of their peers. The news application, which has had more than 800,000 page views, allows users to personalize the story for themselves and see their personal stake in this national story.
  • Born That Way

    The youngest victims of prescription drug abuse.
  • C-HIT: Pharma Perks

    The Affordable Care Act requires pharmaceutical companies to publicly report all payments to physicians by September 2013. Some drug companies have already compiled, but few consumers know that the information is available or how to access it. What this story did is disclose for the first time for CT consumers: 1) how many doctors in Connecticut are high-prescribers of certain psychotropic and pain medications, (108) 2) the cost of written prescriptions (hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases) 3) how many of these doctors received payments from drug companies (at least 43) 4) and the amounts that the doctors received from the drug companies ($30,000 - $99,000) It also reported that only 3 doctors on the high-prescribing drug list have been disciplined by the state Medical Examining Board.
  • "Physicians on Pharma's Payroll: Educators or Marketers?"

    This story focuses on doctors as industry speakers and their relationship with pharmaceutical companies. The pharmaceutical companies claim to choose speakers based on expertise, but further investigation shows that many of the hired physicians have "serious transgressions on their state records." They also tend to be "high prescribers" of the company's products.
  • 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."
  • Do It Yourself Plastic Surgery

    Prescription strength chemicals and other procedures should not be done at home without a doctor. A number of websites are selling such products at a discount rate and many people are buying them and facing devastating consequences. These products are unapproved and experts say using these can result in “blindness, paralysis, or death”.
  • Bad Bargain

    This article identifies several people who suffered consequences after switching from brand name drugs to generic ones. Furthermore, this article identifies loopholes that allow these generic drugs to reach the market. These generics, many of us believe are the same as the brand name ones, are actual substandard and un-equivalent.
  • Not What the Doctor Ordered

    The Blade's investigation showed how patients are increasingly being harmed when insurers interfere with doctors' orders. Of the 920 doctors who responded to an online national survey about insurers, more than 99 percent reported that insurers had interfered with their hospitalization, referral, prescription or testing decisions. Interviews with about 100 doctors and their patients illustrated how insurers are becoming more aggressive in shaping patient care, eroding the doctor-patient relationship and putting people in danger.
  • Rx For Errors

    Potentially life-threatening errors in filling prescriptions stem from the corporate policies of major pharmacy chains.
  • Prescriptions for Error

    "The ABC Investigative Team filled 100 prescriptions at the country's top retail pharmacies in four states. Our undercover investigation found a shocking 22% error rate, 1 out of 5, of prescriptions filled at major retails pharmacies. In another shocking finding, the people behind the counter filling the prescriptions were often not trained pharmacists, but high schools students."