Home E-Weekly June 27, 2017

Barry Cadden Gets 9 Years Behind Bars

Published: June 26, 2017

SENTENCED Barry Cadden, former president of New England Compounding Center, must report to federal prison on Aug. 7.

Barry Cadden, the co-founder and former head of the compounding pharmacy responsible for a meningitis outbreak that killed 76 people and sickened nearly 800 more, was sentenced yesterday to 9 years in prison.

Mr. Cadden was charged in connection with a 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak, linked to contaminated steroid injections manufactured by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, Mass. Prosecutors said Mr. Cadden had run NECC as a criminal enterprise and directed the production of drugs in unsanitary and dangerous ways in the drive to boost profits. Although acquitted of 25 counts of second-degree murder charges, he was convicted in March on 57 counts of racketeering conspiracy and mail fraud.

"I am so sorry for your extraordinary loss," Mr. Cadden told the victims. He also said he would carry the burden of what he'd done for the rest of his life. He must report to federal prison on Aug. 7 but remains free on bond till then.

Prior to sentencing, prosecutors had asked U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns to sentence Mr. Cadden to at least 35 years in prison, while Mr. Cadden's lawyer said the sentence should have been 2½ to 3 years.

Last week Judge Stearns rejected Mr. Cadden's request for a new trial. In his decision, Judge Stearns rejected Mr. Cadden's claims that he did not know of the poor conditions in the clean rooms where the medications were prepared. Judge Stearns added there was "considerable evidence" Mr. Cadden was aware of serious problems. Judge Stearns also concluded there was ample evidence of a conspiracy between Mr. Cadden and others at NECC. Mr. Cadden was one of 14 people tied to the outbreak, but 1 of only 2 people to face second-degree murder charges.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention traced the outbreak of fungal meningitis and other infections in 20 states to contaminated injections of medical steroids. As of October 2013, the CDC placed the death toll at 64, though prosecutors said 12 more people have died since as a result. In all, an estimated 778 people were sickened, with Indiana, Michigan and Tennessee being the hardest-hit states.

Bill Donahue

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