Pharmacy head to be sentenced in deadly meningitis outbreak

BOSTON (AP/WLNS) – The co-founder of a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy is set to be sentenced in a deadly nationwide meningitis outbreak that killed more than 70 people, more than a dozen of them in Livingston County, and sickened hundreds more.

Barry Cadden was acquitted of second-degree murder charges under federal racketeering law, but convicted on conspiracy and fraud charges. Sentencing is scheduled for Monday in federal court in Boston.

Cadden was charged in connection with a 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak that was traced to contaminated injections of medical steroids made by the New England Compounding Center in Framingham.

Of the 778 people who became sick, 76 died, including 15 people who received the NECC’s tainted steroid injections at a clinic in Livingston County.

Prosecutors say Cadden ran the center in a dangerous way by skirting industry regulations on sterility in an effort to push production and make more money.

Prosecutors will ask the judge to sentence him to 35 years in prison. Cadden’s lawyer says he should get 2½ to 3 years.

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