Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Cadden Emails Detail Prelude to Outbreak
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
It was only after his company had shipped thousands of fungus contaminated vials of steroids that the head of a Massachusetts drug compounding firm sent out a series of emails to his staff telling them to stop fudging "and clean up all our processes."
"No more fudging. No more BS. We must clean up all of our processes," Barry Cadden wrote in one email.
The emails were read into the record by a federal agent Tuesday as the second degree murder trial of Barry Cadden entered another week.
Cadden was indicted following a federal grand jury probe of the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak. The outbreak was caused by drugs shipped from Cadden's company, the now defunct New England Compounding Center. Cadden is charged with racketeering and 25 counts of second degree murder.
U.S. Department of Defense Investigator Sara Albert also read emails in which Cadden approved the use of outdated drugs, relabeling drugs to change their expiration dates and discussed the employment of a pharmacy technician who had lost his license.
In another email he discussed a "fungal bloom" discovered at the company's Framingham, Mass facility. Another discusses a problem with mice getting into a restricted area.
In one email Cadden wrote, "Bottom line is we cannot get caught with our pants down to our ankles."
In another email he wrote,"Just relabel the old stuff."
In a 2012 email he discussed using drugs that had expired in 2007.
In an Aug. 7, 2012 email Cadden wrote that something had to be done about an employee, Scott Connolly, who was working as a pharmacy technician in a clean room even though he had given up his license.
"We need to get Scott out of that room. It can't continue on beyond today," Cadden wrote.
In an email exchange with a staffer, Cadden warned of a need to eliminate a "huge wave" of backlogged orders.
"We need to plan for this. We will need to extend hours," the email states.
On cross examination by Cadden's lawyer, Bruce Singal, Albert read from a series of emails in which Cadden admonished sales staffers for not getting the names of patients who were being treated with NECC drugs.
"All names must be real names. No Micky Mouse or Donald Duck," he wrote in one email.
A second prosecution witness, Samuel Penta, an investigator for the Massachusetts Pharmacy Board testified about two advisory letters sent to NECC due to complaints that Cadden himself was attempting to sell drugs without patient specific prescriptions as required under Massachusetts law. The complaints had come from South Dakota, Wisconsin and Iowa.