House Panel Investigates FDA

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FRAMINGHAM, MA - OCTOBER 05: The New England Compounding Center is shown here on October 5, 2012 in Framingham, Massachusetts. The pharmacy is currently being investigated for producing a contaminated steroid shot that included the meningitis fungus that has killed at least five people. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Congress sure was busy today. A House oversight committee slammed The Food and Drug Administration for being too slow to shut down the New England Compounding Center, after the pharmaceutical firm released thousands of vials of tainted steroids. “After a tragedy like this, the first question we all ask is: could this have been prevented?” Chairman Cliff Stearns asked FDA officials at a hearing Wednesday. “The answer here appears to be yes.” FDA officials said the agency doesn’t have the authority to regulate compounding pharmacies. Thirty-two people have died, and 461 others have gotten sick as a result of the tainted medication.