Committees in both the House and Senate will hold separate hearings this week to examine the deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis associated with the New England Compounding Center that has so far killed 32 people and sickened 438.
The House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Wednesday, while the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee’s hearing will take place on Thursday.
The House committee last week served a subpoena to Barry Cadden, the president, co-owner and managing pharmacist at the Massachusetts compounding pharmacy, who indicated that he would not appear at the hearing voluntarily. Lawmakers will also question Food and Drug Administration officials.
The FDA has said it lacks sufficient authority to regulate compounding pharmacies, which mix solutions that aren't commercially available. Several lawmakers, such as Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey, are pushing legislation that would strengthen federal oversight of these facilities.