Oct. 26 (UPI) — The supervisory pharmacist at a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy was found not guilty of murder in a 2012 meningitis outbreak.
A federal jury acquitted Glenn Chin, 49, of second-degree murder charges for the deaths of 25 people who received tainted epidural steroid shots made at the New England Compounding Center.
The jury deliberated for three days before finding Chin guilty for charges of racketeering, conspiracy, false labeling and mail fraud.
Acting US Attorney William D. Weinreb said Wednesday night the fungal meningitis outbreak that was blamed for 76 deaths and 700 illnesses throughout 20 states was “the largest public health crisis caused by a pharmaceutical drug in US history.”
“Mr. Chin ran NECC’s clean room operations with depraved disregard for human lives,” Weinreb said.
Chin is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 30, and will face a sentence no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000 and restitution.
Chin’s attorney, Stephen Weymouth, said his client was remorseful for the deaths, but was disappointed he was found guilty on dozens of counts.
“He’s remorseful for what happened. He doesn’t feel personally responsible because he didn’t commit murder, but clearly he was involved in something that caused a tremendous public health outbreak across the United States and feels terribly remorseful for the people who died, for their families and the people who were injured,” Weymouth said.
Barry Cadden, NECC’s former co-owner and head pharmacist, was also acquitted of of second-degree murder charges in March and was sentenced to nine years in prison in June after being convicted of fraud and racketeering charges.
Chin was considered Cadden’s “right-hand man” and authorities said he improperly sterilized and tested drugs, mislabeled drugs, skipped cleanings, and ignored contamination in the center’s clean rooms.
“As a licensed pharmacist, Mr. Chin took an oath to protect patients, but instead deliberately violated safety regulations, causing the largest public health crisis caused by a pharmaceutical drug in US history,” Weinreb said.