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Pharmacists charged with 2012 meningitis outbreak headed to trial

64 died and more than 700 were sickened.

Barry Cadden, president, co-owner and director of pharmacy at the New England CompGetty Images

The owner and toppharmacists of a Massachusetts pharmacy accused of causing the 2012 national meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people areheaded totrial this week.

Barry J. Cadden and supervisory pharmacist Glenn A. Chinwere charged with 25 racketeering acts of second-degree murder in seven states. They are scheduled to stand trial Thursday in U.S. District Court in Boston.Cadden was the co-founder and head pharmacist of the New England Compounding Center in Framingham.

Jury selection is set to begin Friday, WCVB reported.

In September 2012, a nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis was traced to contaminated vials of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate manufactured by the Framingham-basedcompounding pharmacy.

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Prosecutors say the center used expired ingredients and did not 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 saidfederal prosecutors overreached with the murder charges.

 
 
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