Dr. Lauren Smith said action should have been taken against the Framingham pharmacy at the center of the meningitis outbreak.
In her testimony in Washington, Mass. Health and Human Services Secretary JudyAnn Bigby called the outbreak “one of the greatest health care tragedies” in memory.
For a closer look at Wednesday’s meningitis outbreak hearings, and what questions remain, Harvard’s Daniel Carpenter, who specializes in regulatory law, joined WBUR.
Recently released documents show that over the past decade the state did not aggressively pursue action against the center, despite complaints.
Massachusetts lawmakers grilled Patrick administration leaders and regulators about what went wrong in the oversight of a pharmacy at the center of a meningitis outbreak.
In 2004, the company protested that a penalty could destroy its business, and in 2006, the pharmacy board agreed to impose far weaker action for reasons that remain unclear.
Hearings get underway Wednesday at the Massachusetts State House and in Washington to look into the fungal meningitis outbreak that originated at a Framingham compounding pharmacy.
In 2003, the FDA suggested that the firm at the center of the meningitis outbreak be shut down but deferred to their counterparts in Mass., who let the pharmacy continue manufacturing.
Three hearings in Boston and Washington, D.C. will focus on whether a deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis traced to a Framingham compounding pharmacy could have been prevented.
The director was fired for ignoring a complaint that a Framingham company linked to a deadly meningitis outbreak was shipping drugs in bulk, in violation of its state license.
The subpoena comes after Barry Cadden, co-founder of New England Compounding Center, reportedly declined to appear before Congress next week.
Regulators ordered all pharmacists and technicians who worked at the company at the center of the meningitis outbreak to stop working in the drug-compounding industry.
Federal regulators say that further testing has found bacteria in products made by a Framingham pharmacy linked to the deadly fungal meningitis outbreak.
The emergency regulations allow the state to monitor whether the specialty pharmacies are operating more like drug manufacturing facilities.
Lawmakers will hold hearings looking into the Department of Public Health’s handling of the meningitis outbreak and drug lab scandal.
Ameridose is a sister company of New England Compounding Center, the pharmacy at the center of the meningitis outbreak.
The firm sent customers a “report card” touting the cleanliness of its labs, even though internal tests showed widespread contamination.
The Department of Public Health shut down a compounding pharmacy in Waltham after a surprise inspection prompted by the nationwide meningitis outbreak linked to a different company.