Framingham Pharmacy Exec Sentenced to 14 Years of Meningitis Outbreak
A founder of a former Framingham pharmaceutical facility responsible for a deadly meningitis outbreak will spend 14 and a half years behind bars, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday, extending his original nine-year sentence which was dismissed by a court of call.
Barry Cadden, who was chairman and co-owner of the now-closed New England Compounding Center, showed little emotion as he was convicted a second time after being convicted of fraud and other crimes during the he 2012 epidemic that killed 100 people and returned hundreds. others.
The U.S. first appeals court overturned Cadden’s sentence last year and ordered the judge to reconsider whether certain improvements to sentencing guidelines that call for tougher sentences should apply.
The outbreak was attributed to injections of steroids contaminated with mold produced by the company. The scandal has shed light on compounding pharmacies, which differ from regular pharmacies in that they mix tailor-made drugs and deliver them directly to hospitals and doctors.
Prosecutors said the facility had cut back to boost profits, neglected to properly sanitize its rooms, shipped medication before receiving test results and ignored warning signs that its production methods were unsafe . Prosecutors had urged U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns to sentence Cadden to more than 17 years in prison.
“Mr. Cadden led an operation full of fraud and opportunism that was so risky for patients and he profited greatly from it,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Strachan, head of the Fraud Care Unit. health care at the Massachusetts Federal Attorney’s Office. “He knew the dangers he created for patients in this country every time he got behind the wheel at the NECC.”
Strachan read aloud a letter from the mother of a woman who continues to suffer from serious health problems and is confined to bed 75% of the time due to the mold-contaminated injection. Laura Brinton’s mother pleaded with the judge for a longer sentence, detailing the agony her daughter and others endured.
“My beautiful, educated, gracious and successful daughter has repeatedly asked me why we didn’t let her die,” Brinton’s mother wrote in the letter. “I told her we all hoped that life would bring restored health with it. How wrong we were.”
After lengthy trials in federal court in Boston, Cadden and pharmacist Glenn Chin, who oversaw the facility’s so-called clean rooms, were both acquitted of second degree murder under federal racketeering law. , but were convicted of fraud, racketeering and other crimes.
They were both subsequently charged with second degree murder in Michigan state court, where the cases are still pending.
Cadden’s attorneys had tried to blame Chin and claimed Cadden had every reason to believe the drugs were sterile. Chin pointed at Cadden, arguing that the co-owner was the one calling the shots.
Cadden tearfully apologized to victims at his first sentencing hearing in 2017, saying, “I am sorry for the full range of suffering resulting from my company’s drugs.”
Cadden’s attorney admitted that the victims “endured great suffering and hardship,” but noted that Cadden had been acquitted of the most serious charges against him. Defense attorney Bruce Singal said Cadden’s initial nine-year sentence was more than fair for a fraud conviction.
“From a legal point of view, I do not think it is appropriate that the sentence of this court reflects the deaths and serious injuries which resulted as they have no connection with the convicting offenses,” he said. he declared.
The appeals court also ordered a new sentence for Chin, who was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2018. Chin is expected to be sentenced on Thursday.