The story is written by Steven Brill, an acclaimed investigative reporter, and told in 15 parts. That's part of the fascinating aspect of this, creating a new form they're calling a DocuSerial. Let them explain what they mean --
The Johnson & Johnson Risperdal story is a complex, roller coaster tale. The details count. They are important in understanding the people and impulses behind the drugs we take. To tell that story in a way that is digestible but complete, The Huffington Post Highline and I are trying something new: a DocuSerial. It’s a reconstruction of an old story-telling genre that allows us to deploy the modern tools of digital communication to engage readers in old-fashioned, long-form feature journalism.
Every day for the next 15 days, a new chapter of the Johnson & Johnson story will be posted here. Along with the text, we will post not only a rich array of photos and graphics, but also links to every document—court transcripts, internal emails, FDA staff memos—referred to in that day’s chapter. That way, you will be able to delve more deeply into the materials that are quoted. (You’ll also be able to make sure I held true to the context of the material I quote.)
Those chapters already posted in prior days will be stored on a readily accessible, expanding file, so that you can catch up on, or review, the unfolding narrative. At the end of the 15 days, the entire story, along with all illustrations, videos and documents—as well as the most important comments on or critiques of the DocuSerial—will be available in a complete package, which will then be updated as events and the ensuing discussion evolve.
That's the form. But most important is the content. And the first segment was extremely well done. Interesting, well-written and richly documented. I figure to stick around and see how it develops.
(It's worth noting to that the story makes clear -- and indeed says so specifically -- that at issue is not whether a drug is helpful to many, but causes problematic side-effects for a few, but rather the documented illegal efforts to get the drug on the market and to promote it to people for whom it was not intended or approved. That the company has paid $3 billion in lawsuits demonstrates that "illegal" is not subjective hyperbole.
You can find the first part here. If you do read it, be sure to check the Letter from the Editors -- it's a link right at the top, underneath the title, and does a nice job explaining a slight history of the project Also, at the very end, after all the reader comments is a place to sign up for email reminders when the next part has been published.