Update on Congressional Hearings for Meningitis Outbreak

Posted on Nov 19, 2012

CNN Health posted an update on the Congressional hearings investigating the firm linked to the meningitis outbreak yesterday. Apparently the owner of the New England based firm is pleading the fifth, and refusing to speak before the Congressional subcommittee investigating the meningitis outbreak.

Barry Cadden, the owner of the compounding company being held responsible for the meningitis outbreaks, refused to answer the questions asked of him by the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

According to a past CNN article, the Cadden’s firm was aware of the contaminations months before the meningitis outbreak.

The environmental monitors detected mold as well as an overgrowth of bacteria in its two “clean rooms” nearly 100 times this year. Clean rooms are supposed provide a sterile environment for compounding companies to produce the medications.

 Unfortunately, despite reports from their own monitors, FDA reports show that the compounding company did not investigate the contaminations. More disturbingly, there are no records of the compounding company trying to decontaminate these rooms after the contamination was reported.

At least the Massachusetts state board of Registration in Pharmacy has permanently revoked this compounding company’s license to practice in the state, as well as the licenses of the company’s three main pharmacists. However, this is not enough. And it comes way too late in the game.

Clearly, compounding companies need to be held accountable under stricter federal regulations to truly keep Americans safe. For this company to have detected a contamination in the environment they use to produce drugs and not done anything to sterilize the environment is unacceptable. The fact that they continued to produce drugs without a second thought is horrendous.

We hope that Congress will make solid actions towards regulating the drug industry, so that compounding companies such as these will be kept in check.

Read more about Congress’s role in the meningitis outbreak – they shoulder some of the blame for this too.  

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