A Massachusetts pharmacist was sentenced to eight years in prison on Wednesday, January 31 after he was found guilty of racketeering and fraud that led to the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak causing the death of 76 people out of a total of 800 who fell sick.
Glenn Chin, the former supervisory pharmacist at New England Compounding Center was declared guilty by a federal jury in Boston in October but was cleared of second-degree murder charges, which could have given him a prison sentence for life term.
Before being sentenced, the pharmacist apologized to the victims. Prosecutors urged US District Judge Richard Stearns to sentence the 49-year-old to at least 35 years in prison for providing substandard drugs made in filthy conditions. The drugs were made in Framingham, Mass.-based NECC. The meningitis infection was found in patients who were injected with the contaminated steroid injections.
In a statement during his sentence hearing, Chin said that he is sure of the fact that his victims won't ever forgive him and that his words cannot bring back their loved ones. "But believe me when I say that I am truly sorry that this ever occurred," he added.
Prosecutors said that the drugs contained mold-tainted steroids which were injected into patients, affecting 793 people in 20 states.
Prosecutors further stated that Chin also directed his staff to use and ship untested drugs, use expired ingredients and ignore the presence of mold and bacteria.
Sadly enough Chin received a year less than the nine-year prison term which was imposed upon him by Barry Cadden, NECC's co-founder and former president.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Strachan spoke of a victim's daughter who revealed how traumatized she was after hearing her mother's scream of pain from floors below when she visited her in the hospital. Her mother's screams were similar to the sound of the ship turning into the ocean in the movie Titanic.
"That's the sound that she has in her head when she thinks about her mother's death," said Strachan. "It's the sound made by Glenn Chin's conduct."
Chin had been charged with the deaths of 25 people in Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Throughout his trial, he has been portrayed as a callous employee ignoring warning signs and conducting illegal usage of medicine.