Alexander Presses For Answers On Meningitis Outbreak

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tn.) on Thursday sought answers on the current multi-state outbreak of meningitis from the Food and Drug Administration, the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy, and the owners of the New England Compounding Center (NECC).

“This is a tragic situation that never should have happened. It is clear that compounding pharmacies need clearer regulatory supervision. Once the investigations are complete,” Senator Alexander said, “we will do what needs to be done to try to make sure something like this never happens again.”

Senator Alexander, along with a bipartisan group of senators serving on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, sent letters to the FDA, Massachusetts board, and NECC owners, seeking information related to the outbreak.

The Centers for Disease Control reported that 70 Tennesseans have been infected with fungal meningitis and nine Tennesseans have died as a result of the multistate fungal meningitis outbreak among patients who received contaminated steroid injections distributed by Massachusetts-based NECC.

Senator Alexander earlier this month joined Senator Bob Corker (R-Tn.) in sending a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg asking for clarity regarding existing laws governing oversight of compounding pharmacies like NECC and information about any inspections of NECC and actions taken since the FDA warned the center in December 2006.

In Thursday’s letter to the FDA, the senators write that the committee has questions “about how large quantities of contaminated drugs were distributed throughout the country, particularly given that the investigation has now expanded to include two additional drug companies with the same ownership as NECC, Ameridose, LLC (Ameridose), and Alaunus, LLC (Alaunus).” 

The senators’ letter to the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy requests information “regarding the Board’s interactions with the pharmacy in question, in order to better understand the circumstances that led to the present outbreak,” the letter states.

In their letter to the NECC, the senators wrote: “We are seriously concerned about the current public health crisis involving hundreds of cases of fungal meningitis and other types of infections that has been linked to drugs produced by the New England Compounding Center (NECC).  We are writing to request information that will enable us to better understand how one or more drugs compounded by NECC became contaminated with fungi before distribution throughout the country.”


Former Meigs County Official Connie Allen Indicted On Theft Charge

An investigation by special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in the arrest of a former Meigs County interim finance director on theft charges. At the request of 9 th  District Attorney General Russell Johnson, TBI special agents began investigating Connie Allen on Nov. 24, 2014. TBI agents worked in conjunction with the Tennessee Comptroller ... (click for more)

Corker Expects Senate Will Pass Legislation Giving Congress Ability To Weigh In On Any Final Nuclear Deal With Iran

Appearing on CNN’s “Wolf” on Friday, Senator Bob Corker said he expects the Senate to pass his legislation requiring congressional review of any comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran before the president can waive or suspend sanctions imposed by Congress on Iran. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will vote on the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 on  April ... (click for more)

Finley Stadium Needs To Grow Up - And Response

RE:  Finley Stadium Financial Picture Rosy; Beer And Alcohol Sales Approved; AstroTurf Almost Ready and City, County Pitching In $250,000 Each For New Finley Stadium AstroTurf I read a story here five days ago about a rosy future for Finley stadium. It lead me to believe that the stadium was making money and even improvements with donations.  Then we get a short ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Mom’s Parting Instructions

My mother, Helen Exum, went to be with the Lord in late August of last year and, in the way folks do, I was going through some of her files last week when I ran across an envelope with my name on it. Inside was a story and written in her hand were the words, “This is a wonderful story for you to tell!” Not being one to disobey my mother and not about to waylay the wishes of the ... (click for more)

Southside Smacks Raiders, 13-11, On Wiley's Walk-Off Slam

Southside High School, located in Fort Smith, Ark., didn’t travel 600-plus miles to waste a scintillating comeback against Cleveland on Friday in the Pounder Classic at Central High School. Spotting the Blue Raiders a 7-0 first-inning lead, Southside tied the game in the sixth and then shocked Cleveland with a six-run rally in the last of the seventh – Tanner Wiley, breaking ... (click for more)

Tennessee Fires Basketball Coach Donnie Tyndall

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.  – Tennessee has fired men’s basketball coach Donnie Tyndall. The decision was made based on information the university received during the NCAA's investigation of another institution. The university concluded that Tyndall will likely be held responsible for serious violations of NCAA rules that occurred during his tenure as head men's basketball ... (click for more)