Republicans scold Leavitt for stonewalling

When HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt first refused to give a Congressional committee some requested documents, the Democrats on that committee raised Cain. Now, the Republicans are hopping mad, too. They wrote Leavitt last night, threatening to hold him in contempt for refusing to hand over the info.

At issue is a briefing document that discussed Ketek, the antibiotic whose initial FDA approval is under investigation. "[T]he types of records requested by the subpoena have been provided for years by both Democrat and Republican secretaries," the lawmakers wrote. They also dissed Leavitt's claim of a "chilling effect" should he give up the documents, saying that courts haven't recognized that as an excuse for violating a subpoena.

For his part, Leavitt says he'll negotiate a compromise, perhaps by making FDA staffers available for interviews instead. We'll keep you posted.

- read the item at Pharmalot

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