Head pharmacist set for trial over fatal meningitis outbreak

More than 750 people in 20 states fell ill in 2012, and 64 died.

Barry Cadden

BOSTON (AP) – A former executive at a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy blamed for a national meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people in 2012 is headed for trial.

Barry Cadden is charged with 25 counts of murder and other offenses under federal racketeering laws.  His trial is scheduled to start Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Boston, with jury selection expected to get underway Friday.  Cadden was the co-founder and head pharmacist of the New England Compounding Center in Framingham.

Prosecutors say the center used expired ingredients and failed to follow cleanliness standards, resulting in tainted steroid injections. More than 750 people in 20 states fell ill in 2012, and 64 died.  Cadden pleaded not guilty and is free on bail. His lawyer has said that federal prosecutors overreached in charging him with murder.

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