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Post series wins medical reporting award

The Washington Post’s series “Biased Research, Big Profits” by staff writer Peter Whoriskey has won the George Polk Award for Medical Reporting.

The series uncovered ways drug makers seek to alter physician decisions through economic incentives and questionable research that has been accepted by the nation’s best medical journals, universities and independent associations.

Sometimes, as a result of companies obscuring the dangerous side effects of popular drugs, tens of thousands of people have died while millions were pushed into medicines they never should have taken.

The award announcement credited Whoriskey for detailing practices that revealed how the pharmaceutical industry is “warping the practice of medicine and endangering patients.”

Established by Long Island University in 1949, the Polk Awards are named after a CBS correspondent who was killed in 1948 while reporting on the Greek civil war. Each year, the awards have honored special achievements in journalism. For work done in 2012, the contest handed out awards in 14 categories.

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