Health News

Pharmacist Sentenced To 9 Years Over Fungal Meningitis Deaths

Photo from Wikipedia

Barry Caden, the pharmacist accused of causing a fungal meningitis outbreak in 2012, has been sentenced to nine years in prison on Monday.

Cadden, owner and head pharmacist of the New England Compounding Center, was convicted in March of over 50 counts of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, mail fraud and introduction of misbranded drugs into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud and mislead, CNN reports.

The Massachusetts US Attorney’s Office said that Cadden, 50, had allowed drugs that were not confirmed to be sterile shipped off, and used expired ingredients in manufacturing medicines. In addition, Cadden’s facility failed to meet cleaning, sterilization and safety regulations, which staff and workers – from owners to pharmacists – lied about.

Due to the facility’s negligence, over 700 people in 20 states were diagnosed with fungal meningitis, as well as other infections, after ingesting contaminated drugs from Cadden’s center in 2012. This outbreak became the biggest public health crisis caused by a pharmaceutical product, according to US Attorney William D. Weinreb.

The prosecution placed the number of deaths caused by Cadden’s facility at 76, making it the most fatal meningitis outbreak in American history. The deaths were allegedly due to contaminated amounts of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate, a steroid made by Cadden’s pharmacy.

Cadden was acquitted of 25 counts of second-degree murder after a grueling 10-week trial, but federal prosecutors asked for a 35-year sentence. Cadden’s attorney recommended three years.

Harold H. Shaw, FBI special agent in charge, Boston Field Division, said, “Today, Barry Cadden was held responsible for one of the worst public health crises in this country’s history, and the lives of those impacted because of his greed will never be the same. This deadly outbreak was truly a life-changing event for hundreds of victims, and the FBI is grateful to have played a role, alongside our law enforcement partners, in bringing this man to justice.”

Judge Richard Stearns ruled on a nine-year sentence, and three years of supervised release.

Click to comment
To Top

Hi - We Would Love To Keep In Touch

If you liked this article then please consider joing our mailing list to receive the latest news, updates and opportunities from our team.

We don't want an impostor using your email address so please look for an email from us and click the link to confirm your email address.