WASHINGTON, Oct 9- Leading lawmakers from the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate on Tuesday asked federal health officials for briefings on a deadly meningitis outbreak in nine states as a first step toward possible legislative action to strengthen federal drug safety regulations.
NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct 9- A rare U.S. outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to steroid injections has claimed three more lives and New Jersey became the tenth state to report at least one case of the illness in a widening health scare, authorities said on Tuesday.
*Massachusetts lawmaker pledges bill to strengthen FDA. *Senators request briefing with FDA, CDC staff. WASHINGTON, Oct 9- Congressional Democrats on Tuesday called for a probe of a deadly meningitis outbreak in nine states, raising questions on issues ranging from the timing of the official response to the possible role of health insurers including Medicare.
"This incident raises serious concerns about the scope of the practice of pharmacy compounding in the United States and the current patchwork of federal and state laws," said the letter co-authored by the panel's top Democrat Henry Waxman and fellow members, representatives Frank Pallone and Diana DeGette.
The deadline for President Obama to make his decision to approve the Keystone pipeline is February 21. The business community and labor groups are holding their collective breath to see if the president will approve the TransCanada Corporation project.