Man Linked to Compounding Pharmacy Meningitis Outbreak in 2012 Arrested
On Thursday, September 4th, a suspect believed to be primarily responsible for the massive, nationwide meningitis outbreak caused by a compounding pharmacy has been arrested while attempting to leave the country.
The compounding pharmacy meningitis outbreak, which began in 2012, sickened 700 people with fungal meningitis contracted from an injectable steroid, and ultimately killed 64 people. Investigators traced the meningitis-causing drugs back to the New England Compounding Center, owned by the Conigliaro family. Although the meningitis outbreak was an extreme case, the problem brought to light poor regulatory standards for other compounding pharmacies which had made patients ill, and led to a bill in 2013 that was signed into law by President Obama, allowing the Food and Drug Administration to issue drug recalls for compounded drugs the same way the federal agency regulates other drug companies.
Although the bill does not give complete authority to the FDA to regulate compounding pharmacies, which tailor-mix drugs for individual patients and occasionally mix large batches for hospitals with barely-legal excuses, the bill does provide significant new safeguards to help prevent another tragedy, like the national meningitis outbreak.
Glenn Adam Chin, 46, had been a supervising pharmacist at the NECC, which produced the tainted steroids. Chin is the first suspect to face criminal charges for the meningitis outbreak. He was arrested because he was a known suspect in the compounding pharmacy case, and he attempted to leave the country.
“Chin instructed pharmacy technicians to fraudulently complete cleaning logs at the end of each month purporting to show the rooms were properly clean and maintained when in fact they had not been,” FBI Special Agent Benedict Celso said in his affidavit.
“During the course of this investigation, I have learned of numerous unsafe practices employed by Chin at NECC while producing supposedly sterile medication,’’ Celso wrote. “These unsafe practices included improper sterilization and improper testing of supposedly sterile medication. Moreover, to conceal these unsafe practices, Chin instructed pharmacy technicians to mislabel medication to indicate it was properly sterilized and tested.’’
In July, a federal bankruptcy court approved a deal to settle numerous personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits filed against the now-defunct compounding pharmacy, which could pay out as much as $100 million to fungal meningitis victims and their families.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Your Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Personal Injury Claim
If you or a loved one have been injured, harmed, or killed by a medical product such as a drug or device, from medical device manufacturers or compounding pharmacies, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit. Defective medical devices and dangerous drugs can hurt you to such a great extent that you are unable to work, with mounting medical bills The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help get you the compensation you deserve, to get you through these tough times. We are licensed to practice across South Carolina, Georgia, and New York. To help you with your case, we offer free, confidential consultations. Do not hesitate to contact us. 803.252.4800