Congress slams US health officials on tainted drugs
WASHINGTON (AFP) - United States lawmakers slammed federal and state health officials on Wednesday for failing to properly police a pharmacy whose tainted drugs caused a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak.
"This tragedy could have been avoided," said Congressman Cliff Stearns, who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee's oversight and investigations panel.
The Florida Republican cited a litany of complaints against the New England Compounding Center and problems found during inspections over the past decade that were insufficiently investigated.
One such incident was when the Food and Drug Administration received reports in 2002 that patients receiving NECC steroid injections had experienced "adverse events," including "meningitis-like" symptoms.