FDA Wants More Regulatory Power After Meningitis Outbreak

Outbreak has killed at least 32


The Food and Drug Administration is seeking greater authority to regulate drug makers such as the Massachusetts company that produced steroid injections tied to a deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis, officials said Wednesday at a congressional hearing in which one of the firm's owners invoked his constitutional rights and refused to testify.

Barry Cadden, a co-founder of the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., briefly appeared before the House Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee hearing. In a dramatic moment during the televised proceeding, Cadden refused to discuss his company's role in an outbreak that has killed at least 32 people.

"Under advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer under basis of my constitutional rights and privileges, including the 5th Amendment," Cadden said citing his right to avoid self-incrimination.