Health Care

Pharmacist in NECC meningitis outbreak case acquitted of murder

Pharmacist in NECC meningitis outbreak case acquitted of murder”

In 2012, more than 750 patients were diagnosed with a fungal infection after receiving injections of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate manufactured by the New England Compounding Center.

Jurors said prosecutors failed to prove Glenn Chin was responsible for the deaths of people who were injected with mold-contaminated drugs produced by the now-closed New England Compounding Center in Framingham, just west of Boston.

He called the verdict a victory, noting that a murder conviction would have exposed Chin to a maximum prison sentence of life.

The verdict came after a separate jury in March found Barry Cadden, NECC's co-founder and former president, guilty of racketeering and fraud but similarly cleared him of murder.

The federal jury instead found Chin guilty on racketeering, conspiracy and mail fraud charges stemming from his role as the pharmacist who supervised the so-called clean rooms in which NECC's drugs were made.

"In doing so, Chin ignored NECC's own drug formulation worksheets and standard operating procedures", the office said.

Scott Shaw, whose mother Elwina died after she was injected with the contaminated drugs, says he was surprised and disappointed jurors refused to find Chin responsible for the deaths.

A MA pharmacist charged in a deadly country-wide meningitis outbreak that killed two people in Northern Michigan was convicted tonight.

Under his watch, drugs were also compounded with expired ingredients, directed the forging of cleaning logs and ignored mold and bacteria found in clean rooms. They said prosecutors did not show that he caused the drugs to become contaminated.

Chin was one of more than a dozen employees charged following the outbreak.

Sentencing is scheduled for January. Cadden tearfully apologized to the victims in June before he was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Weinreb said Wednesday night the fungal meningitis outbreak that was blamed for 76 deaths and 700 illnesses throughout 20 states was "the largest public health crisis caused by a pharmaceutical drug in USA history". "As a licensed pharmacist, Mr. Chin took an oath to protect patients, but instead deliberately violated safety regulations, causing the largest public health crisis caused by a pharmaceutical drug in USA history".

The scandal prompted increased scrutiny on compounding pharmacies, which differ from ordinary drugstores in that they custom-mix medications and supply them directly to hospitals and doctors.



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