Published: Fri, March 24, 2017
Sci-tech | By Jose Becker

Ex-pharmacy exec convicted in nationwide meningitis outbreak

Ex-pharmacy exec convicted in nationwide meningitis outbreak

The burden of proof for the murder charges were also said to be "too high".

A Boston federal jury today found Cadden not guilty of second degree murder, and guilty on more than 50 other lesser counts.

"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. "Those are extremely serious offenses, and they carry very stiff penalties", said William Weinreb, acting US attorney for the District of MA, after the verdict was announced.

More than 700 people in 20 states were diagnosed with fungal meningitis and other infections after receiving contaminated medication in 2012. He is slated to be sentenced June 21. The defense argued Mr. Cadden was not directly responsible for the contamination of the drugs, according to the Globe. He also authorized the shipping of drugs before test results confirming their sterility were returned, never notified customers of nonsterile results and compounded drugs with expired ingredients. And they said the center didn't comply with guidelines on cleaning, sterilization and other safety regulations.

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According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the compounding center used fictional and celebrity names on fake prescriptions to dispense drugs, such as "Michael Jackson", "Freddie Mae" and "Diana Ross".

During the trial, attorney Bruce Singal told the jury: "As terrible as each of these stories is, there is nothing that shows that Mr. Cadden did something that the government can link to the death of that person".

"Murder is the worst crime known to humanity, and it is a awful injustice that Barry Cadden was labeled with this charge by the government for more than two years", Cadden's attorney, Bruce Singal, said after the verdict. The pharmacist faces a maximum of 20 years in prison on each of the racketeering counts and mail fraud.

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