Wed, Jun 28, 2017 - Page 10 News List

Former pharmacy boss gets nine-year jail term

Reuters, BOSTON

A former Massachusetts pharmacy executive was on Monday sentenced to nine years in prison after being convicted of racketeering and fraud charges for his role in a deadly US meningitis outbreak in 2012.

Barry Cadden, the cofounder and former president of the now-defunct New England Compounding Center, was convicted in March of those crimes by a federal jury in Boston, but cleared of the harshest charges he faced, second-degree murder.

Prosecutors had asked US District Judge Richard Stearns in Boston to sentence 50-year-old Cadden to 35 years in prison, saying he directed the production of drugs in unsanitary and dangerous ways to boost the compounding pharmacy’s profits.

His greed and those shortcuts led to 778 patients across the US being harmed after receiving contaminated steroids, prosecutors said.

That includes 76 people who died, they said.

Stearns said that if he was a victim, he would have wanted the maximum sentence, as some had advocated.

He said he spent the weekend reviewing statements from the victims.

“The most common word that repeats itself is pain,” he said.

However, Stearns said he could not allow outrage to interfere with reaching a fair sentence. Some victims expressed disappointment.

“It’s a slap in the face,” said Dawn Elliott, an Indiana woman who received steroid injections and was subsequently bedridden for more than a year.

Cadden’s lawyers sought only three years in prison. In court, he tearfully apologized.

“As head of a company that made drugs that killed and sickened these people, I say with full sincerity that it breaks my heart to read about how painful their deaths were,” he said.

Cadden was one of 14 people tied to Framingham, Massachusetts-based New England Compounding Center indicted in 2014 following the outbreak.

He was one of only two people to face second-degree murder charges.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top