Home E-Weekly November 7, 2017

Compounding Pharmacist Linked to Deadly Meningitis Outbreak Cleared of Murder

Published: November 6, 2017

GUILTY Glenn Chin could face NECC founder Barry Cadden's fate of 9 years in prison.

The chief pharmacist at a compounding lab that produced contaminated steroid injections that killed 76 people and sickened hundreds of others was cleared of murder charges last week. A Boston jury, however, convicted Glenn Chin, RPh, of mail fraud and racketeering.

Mr. Glenn's conviction comes 4 months after Mr. Chin's boss at the New England Compounding Center (NECC), Barry Cadden, was found guilty of the same charges and was sentenced to 9 years in prison.

Mr. Chin, who used to oversee the space where the drugs were made in his role as NECC's supervising pharmacist, was charged for his part in producing mold-contaminated steroid injections that sparked a meningitis outbreak.

"He's remorseful for what happened," says Mr. Chin's attorney, Stephen Weymouth. "He doesn't feel personally responsible because he didn't commit murder, but clearly he was involved in something that caused a tremendous public health outbreak across the United States."

Mr. Chin was convicted on 43 counts of mail fraud for falsely advertising NECC's products to hospitals, medical centers and universities, and 32 counts of violating the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act due to mislabeling and shipping out drugs that were made in unsanitary conditions.

Mr. Chin's former colleagues, quality control specialist Annette Robinson and pharmacy technician Joseph Connolly, testified that Mr. Chin disregarded obvious safety issues and their requests to fix them. Ms. Robinson also testified that Mr. Chin would ignore the mold and bacteria that she often found in weekly samples of the air and surfaces in his lab. Mr. Connolly added that Mr. Chin would also instruct pharmacy technicians to make drugs with expired ingredients.

"He was a licensed pharmacist," says Mr. Weymouth. "He had duties and responsibilities that he just didn't follow through. But he was never, this was never, ever, ever — no matter what these prosecutors tell you — this was never a murder case, ever, ever, ever."

Mr. Chin will face his sentence on Jan. 30, 2018. Chin's counsel predicts that he'll get no more than the 9-year prison sentence given to his boss, Mr. Cadden.

Brielle Gregory

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