Published: Thu, March 23, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Pharmacist Acquitted Of Murder, Convicted Of Racketeering, Fraud

Pharmacist Acquitted Of Murder, Convicted Of Racketeering, Fraud

The co-founder of a MA pharmacy has been acquitted of causing the deaths of 25 people but convicted of other racketeering charges in a nationwide meningitis outbreak in 2012 that included Tennessee patients.

Jurors began deliberating on Friday whether Barry Cadden, the co-founder and former president of the New England Compounding Center, is guilty after he was charged in a massive racketeering indictment with second-degree murder in the deaths of 25 people, as well as fraud and other charges.

Cadden was found guilty of racketeering and mail fraud, and he faces up to 20 years in prison.

During the trial, prosecutors alleged Mr. Cadden skirted industry regulations to boost profits.

After five days of deliberations, the jury found Cadden wasn't responsible for the deaths and acquitted him on the murder counts.

Hundreds of people around the country were sickened when their doctors injected them with steroids produced by Cadden's compounding pharmacy.

The 2012 outbreak of fungal meningitis and other infections in 20 states was traced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to contaminated injections of medical steroids, given mostly to people with back pain.

Cadden, 50, will be released on bail while awaiting sentencing, which is scheduled for June 21. An attorney for the other murder defendant NECC supervisory pharmacist Glenn Chin, said after learning of the verdict that he planned to seek a plea deal for his client.

Cadden's lawyer, Bruce Singal, told jurors that Cadden is not responsible for the deaths.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Cadden authorized the shipping of drugs that weren't confirmed to be sterile and used expired ingredients.

After the outbreak, regulators found multiple potential sources of contamination, including standing water, mold and bacteria in the air and on workers' gloved fingertips. In December, NECC's national sales director, Robert Ronzio, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to defraud the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

NECC filed for bankruptcy in 2014.

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