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Congress Issues Subpoena for Owner of Pharmacy Responsible for Meningitis Outbreak

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House lawmakers have finally issued a subpoena for the director of the pharmacy at the root of the meningitis outbreak that has sickened at least 400 people who were given steroid injection shots from contaminated lots of the product. The owner of the New England Compounding Center refused to appear in front of Congress next week, which prompted the subpoena.

The Energy and Commerce Committee says that Barry Cadden, co-owner of the pharmacy, indicated through his lawyer that he would not appear on November 14 for a congressional hearing. In addition to the subpoena, the state of Massachusetts has barred any former workers of the New England Compounding Center from working in the compounding industry. State officials stated in a letter sent on October 31 that they were concerned that the front line workers at the pharmacy may pose an immediate threat to public health and safety and that state officials also feared that these same workers did not follow procedures while working at the New England Compouding Center.

The meningitis outbreak in patients that received epidural steroid pain injections at clinics across the country. Overall, 30 individuals have died as a result of receiving steroid injections contaminated with a form of meningitis, with Michigan being one of the worst hit states.