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.”

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BALDEN, MORE MOUSSA  2000 SUNSET RD CHATTANOOGA, 37404  Age at Arrest: 45 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga PUBLIC INTOXICATION --- BEENE, JASON  3660 CRESTWICK CIRCLE GULF SHORES, 37421  Age at Arrest: 38 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga AGGRAVATED ASSAULT --- ... (click for more)

Latest County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ASHFORD, LARRY  3718 JUANDALE TRAIL CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 64 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga GAMBLING PROMOTION GAMBLING DEVICES --- BATTLE, FREDRICK LAMAR  HOMELESS CHATTANOOGA, 37407  Age at Arrest: 52 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DOMESTIC CRIMINAL ... (click for more)

We Can Do Something About Mass Shootings - And Response (2)

A friend posted his observation this morning that there was paranoia about reasonable gun laws. I know his heart is saying we have to do something about these mass shootings. Then while scanning the morning news shows I watched a pile o’ pundits from Al Sharpton to Donald Trump pontificate on doing “something” about the problem. Personally, I think there are plenty of gun control ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: How We Learned To Play

A couple of years ago I was reading a fascinating story that asserted the “Little Rascals” taught generations of children how to play with each other. When the comedy show about children in a poor neighborhood originated in 1922, there were just silent movies but in 1929, when the “talkies” were introduced, children and adults alike were mesmerized by the wonderful humor that producer ... (click for more)

Arkansas Ground Game Pounds Tennessee, 24-20

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – At least Tennessee didn’t blow a double-digit lead late. Arkansas wiped out the Vols’ 14-0 lead in the first half in front of 101,265 fans at Neyland Stadium and went on to dump Tennessee, 24-20, Saturday night in Southeastern Conference football action. It was Tennessee’s second straight loss and the win snapped the Razorbacks’ three-game skid. ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Tennessee Falls To Arkansas, 24-20