Gazette-Mail Reporter Wins Pulitzer for Drug Stories
Reporter Eric Eyre of The Charleston Gazette-Mail has won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for articles showing drug wholesalers shipped 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills to West Virginia in just six years, a period when 1,728 people fatally overdosed on the painkillers.
Eyre obtained previously confidential records sent by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to the office of West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
They disclosed pills sold to every pharmacy and drug shipments to all 55 counties in West Virginia between 2007 and 2012.
The records — which leading drug wholesalers had fought in court to keep secret — show the wholesalers shipped ever-higher doses of the pills even as the death toll climbed.
The Pulitzer board cited "courageous reporting, performed in the face of powerful opposition."