Pharmacist convicted of racketeering, fraud in fungal meningitis outbreak

Verdict reached in NECC meningitis outbreak murder trial

Cadden, the former president of the New England Compounding Center, faced almost 100 charges, including second-degree murder for the deaths of 64 people during the NECC meningitis outbreak.

Though Chin and Cadden were the only two accused of causing deaths, seven other workers at New England Compounding, including pharmacists and technicians, are slated to go to trial in the fall on charges including fraud and racketeering - the same charges Cadden was convicted of.

He was acquitted of 25 counts of second-degree murder.

Barry Cadden's acquittal of the 25 counts of second-degree murder dismayed the survivors of the outbreak.

"This trial revealed that, among other things, Mr. Cadden participated in a massive fraud in which NECC masqueraded as a pharmacy when it was in fact manufacturing drugs", he added.




We look at the verdict, hear from one of the victims of the contaminated medication, and examine whether gaps that allowed the outbreak to occur have been closed. His sentencing on the other convictions is scheduled for June.

During closing arguments on Thursday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Strachan told the jury that Cadden ran the company in an "extraordinarily dangerous" way, leading to contaminated steroids being shipped around the country, where doctors - trusting they were safe - injected them into patients who then became sick or died. The compounding center also used expired ingredients and has not followed the guidelines with sterilization, cleaning and other safety medical regulations. He wanted to make it look like his compounding pharmacy was filling individual prescriptions, prosecutors alleged.

The Boston Globe reported Wednesday that a jury in federal court in Boston found him guilty of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, and more than 50 counts of mail fraud in this case described by some as the worst public health crises in American history.

David Schumacher, who recently became a partner at Hooper, Lundy & Bookman after eight years as a prosecutor in the USA attorney's health care fraud unit, said the disparity shows jurors followed the case closely and listened to the judge's instructions - they were required to follow the murder laws specific to each state, a possible explanation for the disparities in the verdict sheet.

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