Pharmacy exec sentenced in Michigan over deadly 2012 meningitis outbreak

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FILE PHOTO: Pharmacist Barry Cadden, co-founder of the now-defunct New England Compounding Center, arrives to be sentenced after being convicted for racketeering and fraud for his role in a 2012 meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people across the United States, in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., June 26, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

By Nate Raymond

(Reuters) – A former owner of a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy whose mold-tainted drugs sparked a deadly U.S. fungal meningitis outbreak in 2012 was sentenced on Friday to at least 10 years in prison for his role in the deaths of 11 Michigan residents.

Barry Cadden, the former president of New England Compounding Center (NECC), was sentenced by Judge Matthew McGivney in Howell, Michigan, after pleading no contest in March to involuntary manslaughter charges related to the 11 deaths.

The 10- to 15-year sentence will run concurrently with an already-imposed 14-1/2 year federal prison term that Cadden, 57, is serving after he was convicted in 2017 on racketeering and fraud charges related to misrepresentations he made to NECC customers about its drugs.

Federal prosecutors in Boston had also sought to convict Cadden of second-degree murder over 25 deaths nationally caused by mold-tainted steroids that Framingham, Massachusetts-based NECC produced. Jurors acquitted Cadden of those charges.

Michigan’s attorney general subsequently brought charges in state court against Cadden and Glenn Chin, NECC’s former supervisory pharmacist, who like Cadden was convicted of federal fraud charges but cleared at trial of second-degree murder.

“The families of these 11 victims will forever bear the weight of Mr. Cadden’s greed and disregard for basic standards that caused this horrific tragedy,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement.

Prosecutors said NECC produced the drugs in filthy and unsafe conditions and sold them to hospitals and clinics nationally. The outbreak sickened 793 patients, more than 100 of whom have died, federal prosecutors have said.

Cadden’s sentence on Friday credited him for the more than 6-1/2 years he has already spent in custody, according to his lawyer, Gerald Gleeson. He had no further comment.

Charges in Michigan remain pending against Chin, who has pleaded not guilty and is serving a 10-1/2 year federal sentence.


(Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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