The man allegedly at the center of a 2012 outbreak of meningitis that killed 64 people was apprehended this week attempting to fly to Hong Kong, the Department of Justice reported on Wednesday.
The Centers For Disease Control began an investigation in 2012 when dozens of patients who received contaminated preservative-free MPA steroid injections for joint pain began contracting deadly fungal meningitis. The steroids were identified as originating from the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Massachusetts.
Cases were identified throughout the east coast, but some cases were also found in Michigan, Idaho, and Texas.
Eventually investigators identified 46-year-old Glenn Chin, the supervising pharmacist at the now defunct Massachusetts company, as the man allegedly responsible for sending out the tainted medicines.
This month, Chin was apprehended at Boston’s Logan International Airport as he was about to board a flight to Hong Kong.
The government insists that Chin is a flight risk, but the indicted pharmacist’s attorney says he was only attempting to attend a family wedding in the foreign country and had every intention of returning.
Chin was released on $50,000 bond and placed on home confinement.
Because of Chin’s actions, the New England Compounding Center was slammed with lawsuits from the families of dead patients as well as from those who survived the health scare. The company went bankrupt in 2013.
The company could pay out as much as $100 million to affected patients and families.
Chin faces one count of mail fraud, and, if convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Many victims and families of victims are surprised that it took the government two years to charge the former pharmacist.
The wife of Lyn Laperriere, who died in 2012 only a month after receiving the tainted steroids, told the media that she was disgusted over the delay. “It’s so unfair that they’re living their lives normally,” she said of Chin and his family.
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