FDA chief will testify at first meningitis hearing

November 5, 2012 - 4:33 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — House lawmakers investigating a nationwide outbreak of deadly meningitis are asking the head of the Food and Drug Administration to testify at the first congressional hearing on the issue next week.

The Energy & Commerce Committee says FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg will appear before the committee on Nov. 14.

More than 400 people have been sickened by contaminated steroid shots distributed by New England Compounding Center, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Twenty nine people have died.

Committee staffers say they have also invited Barry Cadden, co-founder of the compounding center, the specialty pharmacy linked to the outbreak. The committee has also invited James Coffey, director of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy. Staffers say they are awaiting replies from Cadden and Coffey.