With Over 50 Lives Lost and Hundreds Still Sick, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Continues Investigation Of Deadly Meningitis Outbreak

April 9, 2013

The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, chaired by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), has scheduled a hearing for Tuesday, April 16, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing is entitled “A Continuing Investigation Into the Fungal Meningitis Outbreak and Whether It Could Have Been Prevented.” Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg will testify.

"The evidence so far demonstrates the NECC should have been shut down long before fifty people tragically lost their lives from contaminated injections. With many more still sick, we will continue investigating the breakdown at the FDA so a public health disaster like this one never happens again," said Chairman Murphy. "The FDA owes the American public the peace of mind that it will do all it can to protect the integrity of the nation's drug supply chain, and the goal of our investigation is to ensure that happens."

As of today, 51 people have died and almost 700 others have been stricken with meningitis or other fungal infections after receiving contaminated injections made by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) and shipped to healthcare facilities across the country. This outbreak ranks as one of the worst public health crises associated with contaminated drugs in the history of the United States.

This hearing is part of the subcommittee’s ongoing examination, including a November 14, 2012, hearing, of the facts surrounding the outbreak of fungal meningitis caused by contaminated steroid injections made and distributed by NECC. Members will examine the FDA’s history with NECC and its sister company, Ameridose, to determine whether this tragedy could have been prevented had the agency taken action under its existing authorities.

The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.

Learn more about the committee's ongoing investigation here.