The award and $5,000 cash prize from RTDNA is in recognition of the show’s Lethal Medicine report on tainted steroid injections from a now defunct pharmacy that caused a meningitis outbreak deemed responsible for 64 deaths and hundreds of illnesses.
The Radio Television Digital News Association today announced that the winner of the 2014 Al Neuharth Award for Investigative Journalism is CBS News’ 60 Minutes for its investigative report entitled Lethal Medicine.
The investigation centered on tainted steroid injections from a now defunct pharmacy that caused a meningitis outbreak deemed responsible for 64 deaths and hundreds of illnesses. Along with video from inside the company, the piece included interviews with former pharmacy employees, dozens of patients and FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, who said under current law, the government cannot guarantee the safety of high-risk drugs. Following the report, the Attorney General in Michigan, the state most affected by the outbreak, empaneled a grand jury to investigate whether the pharmacy broke state laws.
The piece also won a national Edward R. Murrow Award from RTDNA this year for investigative reporting.
Awarding the prize, the judges said: “This CBS News/60 Minutes entry went far beyond simply telling a story. It answered the bigger question of “why” a horrific story happened. Using resourceful and in-depth investigative tools, this report excellently spotlighted the failings of the nation’s drug manufacturing regulations, and fulfilled the journalistic endeavor of being a community’s watchdog.”
Along with a plaque to be awarded at this year’s RTDNA Awards Dinner and Show in New York City on Oct. 6, 60 Minutes will receive a $5,000 cash prize.