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Meningitis Outbreak Toll Now 33 Dead, 480 Sickened, CDC Says
Date:11/18/2012

tion of its state-issued pharmacy license, Miller said in prepared testimony, the AP reported.

"The operations of NECC were clearly outside of the scope of the state's licensure requirements and their license should have been pulled long ago," Miller said, according to the AP.

The International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists has spent more than $1 million lobbying Congress in the last 10 years and has successfully defeated laws and regulations opposed by the compounding industry, the AP reported.

On Wednesday, the owner of the New England Compounding Center refused to testify before a House of Representatives committee that's also investigating the steroid/meningitis outbreak.

After a series of questions from members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Barry Cadden, co-founder of the New England Compounding Center, said: "Under advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer under basis of my constitutional rights and privileges, including the Fifth Amendment," the AP reported.

But FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg told the House committee Wednesday that new laws are needed to give her agency more legal authority and funding to oversee compounding pharmacies.

"The challenge we have today is that there is a patchwork of legal authorities that oversee the action we can take," Hamburg, who was nominated to head the FDA by President Obama in 2009, said in prepared testimony, the AP reported.

She said Congress should draft new laws and provide more funding to police large specialty pharmacies, such as the New England Compounding Center, which aren't subject to the same FDA scrutiny as big drug manufacturers.

"In light of growing evidence of threats to the public health, the administration urges Congress to strengthen standards for non-traditional compounding," Hamburg said.

Republican lawmakers, who constitute the majority party in the House of Representatives, s
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