NECC Co-Owner Subpoenaed Over Meningitis Outbreak
A subpoena has been served to the chief pharmacist and co-owner of the New England Compounding Center (NECC)—the company associated with the ongoing meningitis outbreak—to compel him to appear before a congressional committee investigating the public health catastrophe.
Reuters reports that the House Energy and Commerce Committee issued the subpoena to Barry Cadden, NECC’s co-owner, after he refused to appear voluntarily to testify about the outbreak of fungal meningitis at a hearing scheduled for Nov. 14.
The Massachusetts compounding pharmacy surrendered its license last month in the aftermath of the deadly outbreak that has sickened more than 420 people from 19 states and caused 31 deaths, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) figures. More than 14,000 people received tainted steroid shots from NECC and now are at risk of infection.
Cadden, the head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and CDC officials have also been asked by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to testify about the outbreak at a separate hearing on Nov. 15, according to Reuters.
Lawyers for NECC have meanwhile been busily defending it from a wave of lawsuits filed in federal court. The company’s lawyers say NECC did nothing wrong and is caught between conflicting state and federal laws regarding how pharmacies may operate.
NECC has said that it expects that a Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation will decide after a Jan. 31 hearing in Florida whether to consolidate a number of lawsuits in one court, reports Reuters.