Tags: glenn chin | trial | dirty pharma | meningitis deaths

Glenn Chin Trial: Dirty Pharma Caused Meningitis Deaths?

Image: Glenn Chin Trial: Dirty Pharma Caused Meningitis Deaths?

Glenn Chin leaves court after first day of trial in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

By    |   Wednesday, 20 September 2017 12:52 PM

Glen Chin’s trial began on Tuesday with a federal prosecutor explaining why the former supervising pharmacist at New England Compounding Center stands accused of second-degree murder in the 2012 nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak that killed 64 and sickened almost 700 more.

In opening statements at the Federal Courthouse in Boston, Assistant U.S. Attorney George Varghese told jurors that Chin had failed to sterilize steroid injections shipped off to doctors at Michigan Pain Specialists, The Boston Globe reported.

Jurors also heard how the supervising pharmacist had ordered staff to use expired ingredients and falsify documents while ignoring the findings of bacteria and fungus in the clean rooms.

"Glenn Chin knew better," Varghese said, per the Globe. "He knew with what he was doing there was a reasonable likelihood that people were going to die, and he did it anyways."

The drug was administered by doctors who believed that the substance had been prepared in sanitary conditions, the DOJ said, and as a result 217 of those patients contracted fungal meningitis and 15 died as the illness spread.

The Globe noted that a dozen people connected to Chin also were indicted in 2014, including head pharmacist Barry Cadden who was sentenced to nine years imprisonment on charges of conspiracy, mail fraud, and racketeering.

Cadden was a co-founder of New England Compounding Center which gave up its license and filed for bankruptcy protection after it was flooded with hundreds of lawsuits filed by victims and their families, The Associated Press reported.

On Tuesday, defense lawyers claimed that Cadden was to blame for the deaths relating to the scandal, the Globe said.

Chin’s lawyer, Stephen Weymouth, told jurors his client couldn’t say no to Cadden, who he described as a cruel and demanding boss eager to push the drug out for a quicker profit turn over.

“Chin was a salaried employee who did not get a commission and did not stand to gain financially by pushing production over safety,” he said, per the Globe.

Weymouth explained the medication had been contaminated after the vials, which been tested during preparation and found to be sterile, were shelved in a lab.

He insisted that there was not sufficient proof that Chin was responsible for the deaths of the patients.

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Glen Chin’s trial began on Tuesday with a federal prosecutor explaining why the former supervising pharmacist at New England Compounding Center stands accused of second-degree murder in the 2012 nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak that killed 64 and sickened almost 700 more.
glenn chin, trial, dirty pharma, meningitis deaths
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2017-52-20
Wednesday, 20 September 2017 12:52 PM
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