Published: November 17, 2012
WASHINGTON – Calls from FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD, for greater clarity in her agency’s oversight of compounding pharmacies were met with mixed reviews this week on Capitol Hill.
Lawmakers Question FDA Over Meningitis Outbreak
Senators from both political parties said Thursday they plan to craft legislation to give the FDA authority over compounding pharmacies the agency says is needed in light of the ongoing fungal meningitis outbreak that has killed 32 people.
“Hopefully, we’ll have something soon next year to help put this sad chapter behind us,” Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chair Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said at the close of a Senate hearing examining the meningitis outbreak.
But Republicans in the House chastised Hamburg on Wednesday and told her they believe the FDA may already have all the authority it needs to have prevented the current outbreak. Federal drug regulators just were too slow to act after nearly a decade or warnings about the New England Compounding Center, they suggested.