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Drug Company Executive Pleads the 5th On Meningitis Deaths

- Ennis & Ennis News

11/15/2012 - Barry Cadden, owner of the New England Compounding Center (NECC), whose contaminated steroid drugs have sickened and killed patients nationwide repeatedly plead the Fifth Amendment Wednesday refusing to answer questions by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The subcommittee questioned Cadden regarding its “massive failure of sterilization,” according to Cliff Stearns, R-Fla. Cadden continually refused to answer questions regarding unsterile conditions at his plant and its responsibility for the recent meningitis-related deaths.  

According to the USA Today, there are 461 cases of fungal meningitis tied to the contaminated steroid drugs form the NECC in Framingham, Massachusetts that also killed 32 people.  Panel members testified about unsterile plant conditions, reporting birds and bugs in the plant as well as standing water, which became breeding areas for thriving bacteria. Compounding pharmacies are not subject to the same FDA oversight as regular drug manufacturers but that may be changing as this recent crisis shows the need for more regulatory control.

Lawmakers also questioned the FDA commissioner, Margaret Hamburg, regarding why the agency failed to take action against NECC in the mid 2000s after reports of dangerous conditions at the facility. Instead, the FDA simply issued a warning letter and took no further actions.  Cliff Stearns, R-Fla. admonished Hamburg stating,  “This was a complete and utter failure on the part of your agency.”  Hamburg replied that the FDA has an unclear regulatory framework and that Congress needs to clarify the FDA’s authority over large-scale “nontraditional” compounders such as NECC. Currently the FDA has authority over prescription medicine, while state agencies oversee smaller scale compounders such as local druggists.  Despite the confusion over who has oversight responsibility, clearly NECC should be accountable for what appears to be widespread unsterile and unsanitary conditions at its facility leading to hundreds of injuries and multiple deaths.

Free Nationwide Methylprednisolone Acetate Meningitis Lawsuit Case Evaluations

If you or a loved one have been injured or suffered a loss as a result of meningitis induced by tainted steroid injections you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the Methylprednisolone Acetate Meningitis Lawsuit Attorneys of Ennis & Ennis today for a free confidential case evaluation by filling out the form on this page or call toll-free: 1-800-856-6405.

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