Updated: Sunday, 07 Oct 2012, 4:40 PM EDT
Published : Sunday, 07 Oct 2012, 2:14 PM EDT
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal is calling for stronger government oversight of so-called "compounding pharmacies" amid a meningitis outbreak in several states that has killed seven people.
The Connecticut Democrat said Sunday that he will be writing to U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to ask for stricter scrutiny of such pharmacies. He said the facilities appear to operate in a "regulatory black hole" and are only marginally overseen by the FDA.
Federal officials have linked the outbreak to a steroid for back pain produced by the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass. More than 60 people in nine states have contracted fungal meningitis. There are no cases in Connecticut.
Blumenthal says he will be proposing more authority for the FDA in such cases, if needed.