Glenn A. Chin, the supervisory pharmacist said to be involved in the 2012 meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people and sickened more than 700 others throughout the U.S., is now facing federal trial in Boston. He is being charged with second-degree murder and conspiracy, as well as other racketeering charges.
Chin’s trial comes six months after Barry J. Cadden, former co-owner and president of the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., was acquitted of murder in March 2017. Cadden was facing 25 counts of second-degree murder. The jury heard nine weeks of testimony and then deliberated for five days before presenting their verdict. Cadden was convicted of racketeering and fraud charges in June 2017, and was sentenced to nine years in prison.
Read more: Verdict Reached in Meningitis Case https://www.cemag.us/blog/2017/03/verdict-reached-meningitis-case
Chin, who was in charge of the cleanrooms where the contained products were made, was originally supposed to start trial in August but the case was delayed. His attorney suggests that the blame will be placed on Cadden.
FDA investigator Stacey Degarmo testified in Cadden’s trial that, upon her arrival at NECC, she observed a large pile of crumbling mattresses was stacked up near the building, and heavy equipment being operated in the area was kicking up clouds of dust and particulates. She performed environmental sampling tests on Oct. 1, 2012, and concluded that 11 of the 41 samples tested positive for mold and/or bacteria. Her tests also detected yeast in the air conditioning and heating unit, and the mold/bacteria findings included specimens in a cleanroom pass-through, inside the glove of a glove box that had been used to assemble sterile drugs, on a floor mat at the cleanroom’s entrance, and around a boiler surrounded by a pool of leaking water.
Read more: Old Mattresses, Mold, and Mickey Mouse: Meningitis Trial Continues https://www.cemag.us/blog/2017/02/old-mattresses-mold-and-mickey-mouse-meningitis-trial-continues
Also during Cadden’s trial, a former employee testified that the company’s lax atmosphere played a role in the cleanroom’s unsanitary conditions. The former pharmacy technician said that, to pass the time, workers would yell and wrestle with each other, and spray each other with alcohol. He said that one employee was pushed out of the cleanroom and onto a conveyer belt meant for compounded drugs, and employees would ride around on drug carts like bumper cars. He testified that Cadden sometimes noticed the hijinks but did not correct or discipline the employees.
Read more: Meningitis Trial Testimony Describes Cleanroom’s “Locker Room” Atmosphere https://www.cemag.us/blog/2017/01/meningitis-trial-testimony-describes-cleanrooms-locker-room-atmosphere
If convicted of all second-degree murder charges, Chin could face life in prison.