Metro

Cofounders of pharmacy blamed in deadly outbreak arrested

Tainted steroids manufactured by the New England Compounding Center were blamed for a 2012 outbreak.
AP/File 2012
Tainted steroids manufactured by the New England Compounding Center were blamed for a 2012 outbreak.

Two cofounders and 12 other former employees of a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy blamed for a fungal meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people were arrested early Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the US attorney’s office in Boston said.

Gregory Conigliaro and Barry Cadden, co-founders of the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, were among 14 people arrested at their homes around the state, attorney’s office spokeswoman Christina DiIorio-Sterling said.

One of those arrested was Glenn Adam Chin, a former supervisory pharmacist, who had been charged with mail fraud in September.

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Tainted steroids manufactured by the pharmacy were blamed for a 2012 outbreak. About 750 people in 20 states developed meningitis or other infections after receiving the contaminated steroids. Michigan, Tennessee and Indiana were the hardest-hit states.

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The exact charges are expected to be disclosed at a news conference later Wednesday, and all expected to make an initial court appearance later in the day.

The pharmacy gave up its license and filed for bankruptcy protection after it was flooded with hundreds of lawsuits filed by victims and their families.

NECC was founded in 1998 by brothers-in-law Cadden and Conigliaro. Cadden, who is married to Conigliaro’s sister, Lisa, earned a pharmacy degree from the University of Rhode Island. Conigliaro is an engineer.

Related coverage:

$135 million deal proposed in NECC bankruptcy case

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Pharmacist tied to outbreak a ‘scapegoat,’ lawyer says

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New law increases oversight of compounding pharmacies

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Pain, questions linger, a year after meningitis outbreak

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Globe coverage of the outbreak