Testifying at a House hearing Tuesday, FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg admitted that her agency could have acted more aggressively against the New England Compounding Center, a pharmacy tied to a deadly meningitis outbreak last fall. "I think we allowed ourselves to be far too cautious because of fears of litigation that might further undermine our authority," Hamburg said. She also repeated concerns about the FDA's lack of influence over these pharmacies, saying it needs greater authority to make compounders follow tighter standards of safety.

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