ASBPE honors Meagan Parrish with 2020 Stephen Barr Award

Meagan Parrish
Meagan Parrish

Parrish received the award for her article on the widespread impurities in ingredients that are imported from overseas by U.S. pharmaceutical companies.

The American Society of Business Publication Editors has awarded Meagan Parrish, senior editor of Pharma Manufacturing magazine, a publication of Putman Media, with the 2020 Stephen Barr Award for her December 2019 article, “The Recall Effect.” Her study of widespread impurities contained in ingredients that are imported from overseas by U.S. pharmaceutical companies—impurities that contaminate drugs and lead to recalls—has become even more relevant in this time of a pandemic that has led to a search for new treatments.

One Stephen Barr Award judge said that the problem of “impurities and even toxicities entering generic drugs is frightening—and largely unknown to a wide audience,” and cited Parrish for exposing them very effectively. The judge said the story revealed weaknesses in the current system for ensuring the purity of medications and “showed the vulnerability of American consumers to distant generic drug manufacturers in low-wage countries such as India and China.” Parrish deserved credit, the judge added, for taking on a subject of such complexity and “obvious public importance as the safety and integrity of drug manufacturing in a global economy.”

A second ASBPE judge noted that her story “tackled a hugely important and timely issue, moreso than ever as a result of the pandemic” that became a global disaster in the months following her report.

Parrish has been with Putman Media since January 2018, and previously was chief editor for Chem.Info, a news source for those working in the chemical processing industry and chemical manufacturing. She holds a degree in International/Global Studies from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

This is the 17th annual Stephen Barr Award, named for one of ASBPE’s most honored journalists. Stephan Barr died of cancer in 2002 at the age of 43. Unlike other awards in the organization’s Azbees competition, this ASBPE award honors an individual’s writing across its entry categories, and especially work that shows inventiveness, insight, balance, depth of investigation and impact on readers. A check for $500 accompanies the award, endowed by Stephen Barr’s parents and administered by the ASBPE Foundation.

Click here to read Parrish’s award-winning article.