“If the FDA would provide this information, we would be glad to consider legislation,” he said.
Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., has introduced a bill (HR 6584) that would increase FDA regulation of compounding pharmacies, and Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., also plans to introduce a measure soon.
While Republicans — and, at times, even Democrats — openly expressed frustration with Hamburg’s winding responses during questioning, lawmakers praised the interim commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for acknowledging the board of pharmacy’s role in the events. Lauren Smith, who took her position less than three weeks ago, said Massachusetts had re-examined its regulations for compounding pharmacies and enacted a series of emergency regulations on Nov. 1.
The hearing also featured emotional testimony from Joyce Lovelace, whose husband died in September as a result of receiving contaminated steroid injections.
But Barry J. Cadden, president, co-owner and director of pharmacy for the New England Compounding Center, invoked his Fifth Amendment rights and refused to answer lawmakers’ questions. When Cadden confirmed that he would continue to invoke those rights in response to every inquiry, Stearns excused him, adding that the committee would recall him if necessary.
Upton had issued a subpoena for Cadden to testify last week after he declined to appear before the panel.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold its own hearing on the outbreak Thursday, and Cadden has been invited to testify.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.