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: ANDERSON, ANTONIO LEBRON  7255 LEE HWY APT #417 CHATTANOOGA, 37421  Age at Arrest: 37 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County AGGRAVATED ASSAULT DOMESTIC --- APOLINAR, KEVIN JOSE  6850 HICKORY LANE CHATTANOOGA, 37421  Age at Arrest: 39 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County ... (click for more)

Concurrent Grand Jury Calls For Additional Mental Health Facility; Cites Overcrowding, Heat Problems At County Jail

The Concurrent Hamilton County Grand Jury, in a final report, called for an additional mental health facility here.     The panel noted that the Moccasin Bend faility only has 150 beds and serves 52 counties.   The Concurrent Grand Jury also described overcrowded holding cells at the Hamilton County Jail as well as very high temperatures on the ... (click for more)

TIF Proposal Fails Straight Face Test

Mayor Berke has put the City Council in an unenviable position. The Council will be asked to vote Tuesday on whether to use tax increment financing (TIF) to pay for a one-block extension of M.L. King Boulevard to the Riverwalk.  Accountability for Taxpayer Money supports the road extension concept and understands its timing. However, we strongly oppose using TIF future property ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Want To Buy An AK-47?

On Sunday night I got an email from a reader who I enjoy that read, “How about, ‘Don’t sell assault weapons to 18-year-olds.’ The blood is on your hands (and all the other gun and violence idolaters)!” While I beg to disagree with him, this is a nation where – right now, this minute -- there are an estimated ONE TRILLION rounds of ammunition and over 300 million firearms. I can ... (click for more)

Howard Nips Red Bank In McGary's Final Home Game

Two consolation games were played in the District 6-AA basketball tournament Monday night at Howard’s Henry Bowles Gymnasium and one was much more significant than the other. The Brainerd Lady Panthers had a strong fourth quarter to finally pull away from Tyner en route to a 48-34 victory while the Howard Hustlin’ Tigers escaped a hungry Red Bank team by a 71-68 final that was ... (click for more)

Howard Plays Like A "Miss Basketball" As Bradley Rips Lady Canes For 5-3A Title

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – In each of the last eight seasons, Bradley Central coach Jason Reuter hasn’t come close to winning the District 5-3A Coach of the Year award, an award voted on by the league coaches. In those eight years, however, Reuter has directed the Bearettes to a district tournament championship. Every year. Just like clockwork. That’s a tradeoff Reuter ... (click for more)