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January 31, 2018

NECC pharmacist sentenced to 8 years in prison

Photo | Courtesy of Google The former home of New England Compounding Center on Waverly Street in Framingham

The former supervisory pharmacist of the Framingham-based New England Compounding Center connected with a 2012 nationwide meningitis outbreak killing 64 and infecting almost 800 others was sentenced to eight years in prison Wednesday.

Glenn Chin, 49, of Canton, is also subject to two years of supervised release, forfeiture and restitution in an amount that will be determined later. 

He was convicted in October on 77 counts, including charges of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, mail fraud and introduction of misbranded drugs into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud and mislead.

He was, however, acquitted of murder charges, according to court records.

In 2012, 793 patients were diagnosed with a fungal infection after receiving injections of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate manufactured by the New England Compounding Center. Of those patients, 64 died across nine states, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Chin manufactured three lots of the contaminated drugs, compromising 17,000 vials of medication.

"In doing so, Chin ignored NECC's own drug formulation worksheets and standard operating procedures," the office said.

Chin's sterilization was substantially inadequate, and he failed to validate or verify the sterilization process at all, the office said.

He directed the medicine to be shipped to NECC customers nationwide prior to receiving test results confirming their safety and directed pharmacy technicians to mislabel drugs to conceal the practice, the office said.

Under his watch, drugs were compounded with expired ingredients, and he directed the forging of cleaning logs and ignored mold and bacteria found in clean rooms.

With other co-conspirators, Chin utilized a technician whose license had been revoked by the state Board of Pharmacy and concealed the technician's presence from state regulators.

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