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Congress investigating compounding trade group

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 7, 2012 at 12:33 pm •  Published: December 7, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — House lawmakers are investigating whether the industry group for compounding pharmacies coached the company responsible for a deadly outbreak of meningitis in dealing with regulators.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce sent a letter Friday to the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists requesting any documents it distributed to members about how to respond to state and federal health inspectors.

"Allegations that your association may have encouraged compounding pharmacists to attempt to impede the FDA from evaluating the efficacy and safety of their products, if true, raise serious concerns about your actions," states the letter, signed by Republican and Democratic committee leaders.

The lawmakers are investigating the outbreak linked to contaminated pain injections from the New England Compounding Center, which has sickened more than 540 people and killed 36. About 300 of the cases were caused by a rare form of fungal meningitis. Other fungal infections accounted for the rest.

The compounding group said in a statement it would provide documents that disprove the allegations, which it described as a diversion.

"It has diverted attention away from the cooperative efforts of the academy in working to prevent a future tragedy as that caused by NECC and the failure of swift and decisive action by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy and the federal Food and Drug Administration," the group said in a statement.

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