Tennessee lawmakers are demanding answers about the deadly Meningitis outbreak that killed 32 people. Senator Lamar Alexander this week convened hearings on the outbreak to get answers from state and federal regulators. FOX17's Erika Lathon is in Washington, D.C. for the hearings. Experts who testified on Thursday say NECC, the compounding pharmacy responsible for the Meningitis outbreak, was allowed to operate with little oversight for over a decade, and that the deaths caused by their tainted drugs could and should have been prevented. Members of the CDC, the FDA and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health testified during this week's Congressional hearings. Pharmacy experts say NECC did not have prescriptions for the drugs they were compounding, instead they were mixing large quantities of drugs and selling them without the required manufacturers license. Officials say the company had a history of problems and should have been shut down long before the Meningitis outbreak.
"NECC was breaking the law in Tennessee, in Pennsylvania, in Georgia, in New York, all of which prohibit their behavior, but they were still doing it," says CEO of the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacy David Miller.
Senator Lamar Alexander says Congress will pass new laws to strengthen oversight for compounding pharmacies. The FDA says it needs more resources and clearer guidelines to do better monitoring companies like NECC.
Thursday, November 15 2012, 10:08 PM CST