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Pharmacist Sentenced To 8 Years For Meningitis Outbreak

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Americans trust their pharmacists to confidently and safely supply them with quality medicine that could help them get rid of an infection, keep a condition under control, or save their lives. But what happens when greed clouds a trusted pharmacist’s judgment?

Tainted Drugs Lead To Health Crisis, Pharmacist Faces Jail Time

tainted drugsGlenn Chin, a pharmacist from Massachusetts was convicted of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, mail fraud, and introduction of misbranded drugs in connection to the deaths of nearly 80 people who were infected with meningitis that was caused by mould-tainted steroid injections produced by the New England Compounding Center. Chin was in charge of the ‘clean rooms’ where the drugs were prepared.

His negligence cost the lives of beloved family members all over the state and even beyond.

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Chin, who narrowly missed being convicted of 2nd degree murder – a charge that carries a life sentence – had been charged with the deaths of 25 people in Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

Nearly 800 people were sickened due to these tainted drugs in what has become the worst health crisis in United States history.

“Mr. Chin is finally being held accountable for his role in one of the worst pharmaceutical disasters in this country,” Harold Shaw, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston Division, said in a statement.

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Understanding the Meningitis Outbreak Caused by Chin

Meningitis is a rare infection that affects the meninges which are the delicate membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord [3]. The disease comes in several different forms including bacterial, viral, and fungal.

Bacterial meningitis can be deadly and spreads between people who are in close contact with each other. Viral meningitis isn’t as harmful, and people who have it usually recover within a few days without treatment. Fungal meningitis is a rare form of the disease and affects those who have a weakened immune system [3].

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Its symptoms can include: 

  • Fever.
  • Headache.
  • Stiff neck.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • Altered mental status (confusion)

How to Report Your Concerns About A Pharmacist

tainted drugsThe General Pharmaceutical Council [4] is a group formed to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of people who use services from pharmacy professionals or from registered pharmacies. They implore you to contact them if you have concerns dealing with:

  • Serious unprofessional or inappropriate behavior
  • Dispensing errors
  • Criminal conduct
  • Dishonesty or fraud
  • Working under the influence of drink or drugs
  • Having a health condition that affects the ability to practice safely
  • Practicing while unregistered

If you have concerns about your pharmacist, you can submit your claim to Pharmacy Regulation.org.

 

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