Trial Begins for Former Compounding Pharmacy Executive Blamed for Deadly Meningitis Outbreak

More than 750 people in 20 states fell ill, and 64 died

The trial for a former executive at a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy blamed for national meningitis outbreak that killed more than 60 people in 2012 started on Wednesday.

Barry Cadden, who is charged with 25 counts of murder and other offenses under federal racketeering laws, was the co-founder and head pharmacist of the New England Compounding Center in Framingham.

Prosecutors say the tainted injections sold by the center were the result of poor sanitary standards.

More than 750 people in 20 states fell ill, and 64 died.

Attorney Kristen Johnson has represented all of clients in a civil case, but now she says they're eager for their criminal one to begin.

Sixty-four deaths, 750 grievous injuries, no amount of money can really bring people back or make whole those who have suffered this," said Johnson.

Former pharmacy supervisor Glenn Chin is facing the same charges as Cadden, but his trial has been put off until this one is over.

"The trials were severed between this defendant and another one that is considered to be equally as culpable," legal editor Randy Chapman said. "The thought is the defenses are going to be antagonistic, meaning that they are likely to point the finger at each other and say that's the person who's responsible for what occurred here."

Cadden has pleaded not guilty to the charges. His trial in U.S. District Court in Boston is expected to last a couple of months. Jury selection is expected to get underway Friday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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