Trials to begin for pharmacists linked to deadly fungal meningitis outbreak

Trials to begin for pharmacists linked to deadly fungal meningitis outbreak

Two pharmacists will face second-degree murder charges in imminent trials in connection with the sale of contaminated pain medicines that caused the deadliest meningitis outbreak in U.S. history in 2012.

Hundreds of people in nearly two dozen states were diagnosed with fungal meningitis and certain other infections in 2012, after they received contaminated medication. Nine states reported 64 deaths.

The two pharmacists who are being blamed for deadly outbreak are: Barry J. Cadden, who co-owned the Framingham, Mass.-based New England Compounding Center, which has since been closed; and Glenn Chin, who worked there.

After a preliminary investigation, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) reported that it had “identified serious deficiencies and significant violations of pharmacy law and regulations that clearly placed the public’s health at risk.”

In the trial of 50-year-old Cadden, jury selection is expected to start this Wednesday. The trial of Chin is slated to start immediately after Cadden’s trial ends.

The defendants have pleaded not guilty to the second-degree murder charges. In convicted, they could be slapped with a maximum sentence of life in prison.

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