Friday, January 20, 2017

Former NECC Technician Details Outdated Drug Use

By Walter F. Roche Jr.

BOSTON, Mass. A pharmacy technician detailed how outdated drugs were routinely used to produce drugs at the now defunct New England Compounding Center.
Taking the witness stand for the second day in a row Joseph Connolly went through a list of more than a dozen drugs he compounded at the Framingham, Mass. headquarters of NECC.
Under questioning by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Strachan, Connolly said the company routinely produced drugs made from components that had expired. A new expiration date was then placed on the newly produced drug.
Connolly also testified that drugs were often shipped out the day they were produced and not waiting for after production testing to determine whether the drug was sterile and had the required potency.
NECC has been blamed for a deadly nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis 
His testimony came at the end of the second week in the trial of Barry J. Cadden, NECC's president and part owner. Cadden has been charged with racketeering and 25 counts of second degree murder.
NECC has been blamed for the 2012 outbreak of fungal meningitis, which sickened 778 patients, killing 76 of them.
Among the drugs was an injectable, aromine, which was compounded with a drug that had gone three months past its expiration date. Another drug he testified was made from a component seven months past it expiration date.
Connolly also testified that his brother Scott, who had surrendered his pharmacy technicians license was allowed to work as a technician in the clean rooms at NECC. Scott Connolly is a defendant in the case and is expected to go on trial in April.
Joseph Connolly said his brother told him that he used Barry Cadden's initials on company documents because he couldn't use his own because he lacked a license.
Massachusetts Pharmacy Board records show Scott Connolly surrendered his license while under investigation for improper handling of a compounded drug.
Under cross examination by Michele Peirce, Connolly was questioned extensively about his training while at NECC. Her questioning will continue Monday

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