Pharmacy boss blamed for meningitis outbreak gets 9 years


Prosecutors plan to ask US District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to sentence Cadden, the former co-owner and head pharmacist, to 35 years in federal prison for focusing on profits and not the proper operation of the once-highly profitable speciality pharmacy that he owned 17.5 percent of. Mr. Cadden was convicted this year of more than 50 counts of mail fraud and racketeering, but acquitted of 25 counts of second-degree murder and other charges.

Cadden was convicted in March of racketeering and fraud charges for his role in the 2012 meningitis outbreak, which was responsible for more than 60 deaths and hundreds of illnesses.

The 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.

Prosecutors are seeking at least 35 years in prison for Cadden, whose conduct they said led to 778 patients nationwide being harmed after receiving contaminated steroids injections.

The US Attorney's Office for MA said Cadden authorized the shipping of drugs that weren't confirmed to be sterile and used expired ingredients. Indiana, Michigan and Tennessee were hit hardest. Among eight survivors who spoke in court on Monday, some said they still lived with pain and had received little money from a fund meant to aid the victims. After the outbreak, Congress increased federal oversight of compounding pharmacies.

The former executive of a MA pharmacy company is now facing up to 35 years in prison for his role in an outbreak of meningitis, which led to the deaths of more than 60 patients and the sickening of hundreds more in 2012.

"I'm telling him he destroyed my family and Lyn's family", said Penny.

Cadden was one of 14 people tied to Framingham, Massachusetts-based compounding center indicted in 2014 following the outbreak. Cadden was acquitted of second degree murder, which carried a maximum penalty of life in prison.

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A judge sentenced Cadden on Monday after hearing statements from people who said he ruined their lives.

Barry Cadden, president of the New England Compounding Center, along with members of his legal team, arrive at the federal courthouse for sentencing Monday, June 26, 2017, in Boston. Numerous letters describe constant pain and other chronic illnesses people who received the injections continue to face.

"So the judge's discretion here is basically all over the map as to what sentence can come down", said Elikann.

"Who gave him the right to play God?" the MI woman added.

The pharmacy used expired ingredients and falsified logs to make it look as if the so-called clean rooms had been disinfected, prosecutors said.

Those included the fact that there were multiple vulnerable victims, that Cadden was an authority figure and his actions and inaction created a "substantial risk of death or bodily injury".

NECC filed for bankruptcy after getting hit with hundreds of lawsuits. Despite the defense claims, "the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrated that Cadden was well-aware of these deficiencies in NECC's production processes, and the potential danger it could cause to patients, but chose to ship the deficient drugs anyway", Assistant U.S. Attorney George Varghese wrote in the government's sentencing memo. NECC and several related companies reached a $200 million settlement with victims and their families.