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Pharmacist in meningitis outbreak that killed 19 Michiganders acquitted of murder charges

Partha S. Sahana
Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
Medical steroid injections were contaminated with mold, leading to the deaths of 76 people.

A Massachusetts pharmacist whose facility was responsible for tainted drugs that led to a 2012 nationwide meningitis outbreak that killed 76 people was cleared of murder Wednesday.

Glenn Chin was the supervisory pharmacist at the now-closed New England Compounding Center, which distributed mold-contaminated injections of medical steroids. Those drugs led to a fungal meningitis outbreak that affected more than 700 people in 20 states, including 264 Michiganders.

Persons with Fungal Infections Linked to Steroid Injections, by State
Credit CDC
Persons with Fungal Infections Linked to Steroid Injections, by State

Chin oversaw the "clean rooms" where the drugs were made. Prosecutors said he instructed his staff to use expired ingredients, failed to properly sanitize the drugs, and ignored findings of mold and other bacteria in the rooms.

But jurors said that prosecutors failed to prove that Chin was responsible for the deaths. He was convicted of mail fraud racketeering.

The pharmacy's co-founder, Barry Cadden, was acquitted of second-degree murder in March, although was sentenced to nine years in prison on conspiracy and fraud.

Emma is a producer for the digital content team at Michigan Radio. Her duties span all things web-related, from news reporting and photography to digital fundraising and graphic design. She also produces the station's daily newsletter, The Michigan Radio Beat.
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