A 2012 Meningitis outbreak left over 750 people ill nationwide and 64 people dead, after they received tainted steroid injections. Law enforcement have now arrested and charged 14 pharmacy officials in relation to the deadly outbreak.
According to SFGate, the indictment was unsealed this morning, and shows that the pharmacy officials face charges ranging from mail fraud to the introduction of adulterated and misbranded drugs into interstate commerce. The most serious charges were placed on Barry Cadden, a co-founder of the New England Compounding Center, and Glenn Adam Chin, a pharmacist who was in charge of the sterile room. The charges include a federal racketeering indictment of causing the deaths of patients in several states by “acting in wanton and willful disregard of the likelihood” that their actions would cause death or great bodily harm.
In fact, the charges go so far as accusing the pair of causing the death of all 64 tainted steroid patients. The accusations say that the pharmacy officials knowingly used expired ingredients in the drugs, did not properly sterilize the drugs, and then failed to properly test the drugs to ensure sterilization took place.
Gregory Conigliaro, another co-founder, was among the 14 arrested at their homes around the state, according to the US attorney’s office. The 14 individuals arrested are in law enforcement custody. USA Today reports that the US attorney’s office has verified all the claims against the Massachusetts pharmacy. The office also says that all the accused will appear in court later today, after which a news conference will take place.
Prior to the arrests, the Massachusetts pharmacy had given up its license and filed for bankruptcy. The pharmacy itself has had hundreds of lawsuits filed against it since the fungal Meningitis outbreak resulting from the pharmacy’s tainted steroid injections.