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(AP) - CALL FOR CLARITY: The head of the Food and Drug Administration asked Congress to give her agency greater authority over compounding pharmacies, at the first hearing to examine a deadly meningitis outbreak tied to contaminated steroid injections.

REPUBLICAN PUSHBACK: Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee asked FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg why her agency didn't act sooner to stop the Massachusetts pharmacy linked to the outbreak, which has killed 32 Americans.

TAKING THE FIFTH: Barry Cadden, owner of the New England Compounding Center, appeared at the hearing but invoked his Fifth Amendment rights to avoid testifying. Cadden is the subject of a federal criminal investigation into the conduct of his pharmacy.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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