Upton, Murphy Preview Next Week’s Hearing on Deadly Meningitis Outbreak – Death Toll Now at 53 and Hundreds Still Sick

April 12, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA) today previewed the subcommittee’s focus for the panel’s upcoming hearing to examine the deadly meningitis outbreak, which has resulted in 53 deaths and over 700 individuals sickened. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg will provide testimony next Tuesday – she previously appeared before the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee last November. The committee launched its investigation into the deadly outbreak in early October 2012.

Upton and Murphy released the following statement:

“In the wake of the deadly meningitis outbreak, it seems the FDA is finally doing its job and inspecting large-scale compounding operations with lengthy rap sheets. NECC and Ameridose were long on the FDA’s radar screen as bad actors – years before the 2012 outbreak. FDA’s inaction in the face of what the agency knew about these companies is inexcusable.

“What we must not lose sight of is the fact that 53 people have lost their lives and hundreds of people are still suffering. We already know NECC is at fault, and they are rightfully the target of federal and state criminal investigations.

“Out of respect for the victims and their families, we need to stay focused on our mission of gathering all the facts – including those that show why the FDA failed to do something sooner and protect the public from NECC’s contaminated drugs. The documents we have gathered over the last six months paint a disturbing picture of how the FDA let the American people down.”

Learn more about the committee's ongoing investigation here.

More information on next Tuesday's hearing, "A Continuing Investigation into the Fungal Meningitis Outbreak and Whether It Could Have Been Prevented," can be found here.

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