Report: FDA wanted to close Mass pharmacy in 2003

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Massachusetts officials indicated Tuesday they are still investigating why NECC escaped the more severe penalty.

“I will not be satisfied until we know the full story behind this decision,” the state’s interim health commissioner Lauren Smith said in a transcript of her prepared testimony released a day ahead of delivery. Smith is one of several witnesses scheduled to testify Wednesday, including FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.

The committee will also hear from the widow of 78-year-old Eddie C. Lovelace, a longtime circuit court judge in southern Kentucky. Autopsy results confirmed Lovelace received fungus-contaminated steroid injections that led to his death Sept. 17.

Joyce Lovelace will urge lawmakers to work together on legislation to stop future outbreaks caused by compounded drugs, according to a draft of her testimony.

“We now know that New England Compounding Pharmacy, Inc. killed Eddie. I have lost my soulmate and life’s partner with whom I worked side by side, day after day for more than fifty years,” Lovelace states.

Barry Cadden is also scheduled to appear at the hearing, after lawmakers issued a subpoena to compel him to attend.

The NECC has been closed since early last month, and Massachusetts officials have taken steps to permanently revoke its license. The pharmacy has recalled all the products it makes, including 17,700 single-dose vials of a steroid that tested positive for the fungus tied to the outbreak.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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