Man pleads not guilty in tainted steroid case

The Covington News - - THE WIRE -

BOS­TON (AP) — A phar­ma­cist who worked for a Mas­sachusetts company blamed for a na­tion­wide menin­gi­tis out­break that killed 64 peo­ple pleaded not guilty to a mail fraud charge Thurs­day as his lawyer said he is con­cerned he could be made a scape­goat.

Glenn Adam Chin, 46, of Can­ton, en­tered his plea dur­ing a brief ar­raign­ment in fed­eral court in Bos­ton.

Pros­e­cu­tors say Chin over­saw the ster­ile clean rooms at the New Eng­land Com­pound­ing Cen­ter in Fram­ing­ham, which cus­tom-mixed med­i­ca­tions in bulk and where tainted steroids blamed for the 2012 out­break were made.

Chin, a su­per­vi­sory phar­ma­cist, is ac­cused of par­tic­i­pat­ing in a scheme to fraud­u­lently cause one lot to be la­beled as in­jectable, mean­ing it was ster­ile and fit for hu­man use. The drug was shipped to Michi­gan Pain Spe­cial­ists in Brighton, Michi­gan, and in­jected into pa­tients. As a re­sult, 217 pa­tients con­tracted fun­gal menin­gi­tis, and 15 died.

Chin is the first per­son to be charged crim­i­nally in the case, but pros­e­cu­tors have said the pros­e­cu­tion is part of a larger crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Chin and oth­ers.

“I think he and oth­ers will be scape­goated,” said Stephen Wey­mouth, an at­tor­ney ap­pointed Thurs­day to rep­re­sent Chin. “Some­one has to be made to pay. I’m just not sure Mr. Chin is that per­son.”

Pros­e­cu­tors al­lege that Chin did not prop­erly ster­il­ize or test equip­ment and con­cealed un­safe prac­tices.

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