In a major development in the 2012 meningitis outbreak in Massachusetts, US Attorney Carmen Ortiz on Wednesday announced indictments of two co-owners of the New England Compounding Center (NECC), including its 12 employees, who were involved in manufacturing contaminated medicine that claimed lives of 64 people in Boston.
Barry Cadden, one of the co-founders of now-closed New England Compounding Pharmacy of Framingham, and Glenn Adam Chin, in-charge of the sterile room, were charged for most serious offences in one of the biggest contamination case in the US.
According to the reports, both the owners and employees are accused in a federal racketeering indictment of claiming lives of 25 patients across seven states by “acting in wanton and willful disregard of the likelihood of death or great bodily harm”.
The report further said that all the 14 people are accused of using expired products to manufacture the drug, failing to properly sterilize drugs and conduct proper tests to insure they were free from any impurity. The other defendants were also charged with interstate sale of adulterated drugs and fraudulence.
Speaking about the unfortunate incident, US Attorney Carmen Ortiz said, “NECC was “filthy” and it has failed to fulfill even basic health standards set by the authorities. The worse part was that the employees knew it.”
Ortiz further underlined, “The company prioritized production and profit over safety.”
The contaminated drugs had sickened more than 750 people across 20 states. About half of the total patients suffered from a rare fungal form of meningitis, while the remaining had developed joint or spinal infections. 64 patients had died during the outbreak.
The ‘contaminated’ steroids given administered to the patients only for medical purposes and no case of bodybuilding was involved. Sources say most of the patients had received the injections for back pain.