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0CDC officials reported Friday that the fungal meningitis outbreak associated with contaminated steroid shots has sickened 480 people and with another death in Indiana; 33 fatalities now reported. During US Senate hearings this week, the compounding pharmacy association is denying need for tighter regulations; instead stricter enforcement of state laws need. New England Compounding Center owner Barry Cadden, pleaded the 5th during Senate questioning. Karen
By Steven Reinberg and Margaret Steele HealthDay Reporters
FRIDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The ongoing meningitis outbreak tied to tainted steroid injections has now reached 480 cases, and another person has died, bringing the total fatalities to 33, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday.
The latest death from a rare, fungal form of meningitis occurred in Indiana, the agency said.
The political and legal fallout from the steroid-linked outbreak also continues to mount. On Thursday, the head of the lobby that represents compounding pharmacies told a U.S. Senate committee that tighter federal regulations were not needed to oversee his industry, despite the rising death toll from the outbreak that's been linked to products from these types of pharmacies.
According to the Associated Press, the head of the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists testified that existing regulations, which primarily put oversight responsibility on individual states, are enough to monitor compounding pharmacies.....
...But David Miller, chief executive officer of the compounding pharmacies' lobbyist group, told the senators that current state laws, if enforced, would have prevented the meningitis outbreak. And the Massachusetts company in question, the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, was shipping medication without first receiving prescriptions from doctors, a violation of its state-issued pharmacy license, Miller said in prepared testimony, the AP reported.
"The operations of NECC were clearly outside of the scope of the state's licensure requirements and their license should have been pulled long ago,"...