Reynolds Weekly: May 27, 2019

by May 27, 2019

Looking for business stories to cover? We’ve put together a list of resources and story ideas you can use in your reporting. (Photo credit to Lisa Folios via Pixabay)

Rising Drug Prices

A life saving drug known as Zolgensma was approved last week by the FDA to treat Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a genetic disorder which can be fatal to babies born with the complication. The problem: it’s $2.1 million per person, making it the most expensive drug ever produced.

In the U.S., pharmaceutical companies can set medications they develop at whatever price they see fit. Remember back in 2015, when so-called “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli raised the price of a $13 pill to $750 , causing swift outrage?

Reporting shows that drug prices across the board have been subject to price hikes. See if you can tackle some localized reporting on the issue in your area.

How to start your reporting

Start out by researching drug prices. There are a few databases you can reference. Have prices changed over time? Look for drugs that have experienced a radical increase in price and research what they do. Often times, prices are hiked on drugs used to treat rare diseases.

After you’ve done your pre-reporting, see if you can connect with people affected by these price increases. You may be able to find people affected through support groups or non profits organizations dedicated to a certain condition. It’s a sensitive issue, so be sensitive to your subjects when reporting on this story.

E. Coli Recalls Ahead of Holiday Weekend

E. Coli has been back in the news recently, and stores across the country are recalling potentially contaminated products right before Memorial Day weekend, when Americans are cooking and firing up the grill.

The discount grocer, Aldi, announced last week that a brand of all purpose flour it carries may have been contaminated by the potentially dangerous bacteria. The same week 62,000 lbs of E. Coli exposed beef was sent out to distribution centers around the country.

How to start your reporting

Find out if stores in your area are recalling products due to E. Coli exposure. If so, find out which. Are there signs in the store advertising the recall? Contact grocers and find out what they’re doing in response.

Figure out what the local reaction has been. If you live in state hit hard by recalls, are people changing their Memorial Day weekend barbecue plans?