Alexander to Probe Deadly Meningitis Outbreak at Senate Hearing November 15

Invites Tennesseans to submit testimony, share expertise “to ensure this never happens again"

Posted on November 8, 2012

“Tennessee officials identified the outbreak and responded quickly to the cases in our state, and I’m asking for their insights to help legislators in our next steps.”
– Lamar Alexander

MARYVILLE – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today announced that he will participate in a U.S. Senate committee hearing on November 15 to examine state and federal oversight of the New England Compounding Center (NECC), the source of the contaminated steroid injections that have caused a meningitis outbreak nationwide and led to 13 deaths in Tennessee.
 
“This hearing is an important step to learning as much as we can about this tragic outbreak so that we can ensure that it never happens again. Tennessee officials identified the outbreak and responded quickly to the cases in our state, and I’m asking for their insights to help legislators in our next steps.”
 
In the new Congress, Alexander is likely to be ranking Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which is holding the hearing  entitled “Pharmacy Compounding: Implications of the 2012 Meningitis Outbreak.”
 
The senator sent letters to the Tennessee Department of Health, the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy, the Tennessee Pharmacists Association, Tennessee Medical Association, the Tennessee Hospital Association, and the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners, inviting them to submit testimony for the record on this issue.

Alexander, along with a bipartisan group of senators serving on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, last month sent letters to the FDA, Massachusetts Board of Pharmacy, and NECC owners, seeking information related to the outbreak.
 
He also joined Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) in sending a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg asking for clarity regarding existing laws governing oversight of compounding pharmacies like NECC and information about any inspections of NECC and actions taken since the FDA warned the center in December 2006.
 

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