During the first of two Congressional hearings to take place this week in response to a deadly meningitis outbreak, the widow of a victim urged lawmakers to crack down on drug compounders, Reuters reports.
Joyce Lovelace’s husband, Eddie Lovelace, died of fungal meningitis in September. She submitted written testimony to the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee for oversight and investigations, which met on Wednesday to discuss the outbreak that has sickened 439 people and killed 32 in 19 states.
Meningitis is an inflammation of the tissue surrounding the spinal cord and the brain.
The outbreak has been traced back to a fungal contaminant in steroid medication produced at the Massachusetts-based New England Compounding Center – a “compounding pharmacy” at which specialty medications are prepared from ingredients provided by other sources.
The outbreak has raised concerns about the lack of federal oversight of compounding pharmacies. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has also scheduled a hearing on the issue this week, Fox News reports.
Reuters says some lawmakers have pledged to introduce legislation that would strengthen the FDA’s oversight over compounders. Pharmaceutical industry court challenges and lobbying efforts have stymied previous efforts at similar legislation.
Lovelace’s written testimony said: “I would ask that you inquire how such a product became so widely distributed. Why did so many medical providers purchase this product from unregulated or poorly regulate sources?”
Lopez McHugh is investigating cases related to this outbreak. If you or a loved one had an injection and were diagnosed with meningitis, you should consult with a Lopez McHugh lawyer for a free consultation.
See the Reuters story here: