Barry J. Cadden

Barry Cadden

Crimes: Conspiracy, Racketeering, Fraud.

Barry Cadden isn’t technically a murderer, but his insatiable greed and amoral nature led to the deaths of at least 76 people, and afflicted over 700 people with excruciating, hellish pain. That, dear readers, is the stuff that hellbeasts are made of.

Barry Cadden was the owner and head pharmacist of New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Massachusetts. I am happy to say that that particular pharmacy is now kaput.

Barry Cadden, in his quest for more and quicker riches, decided to ignore pesky regulations that would make his products safer, but would cut into his profits. He also decided to use expired ingredients as a way to spend less. And because he valued his bank balance far more than people’s lives, he didn’t have a problem with his decisions.

New England Compound Center distributed steroids around the United States. Not the kind for growth, but the kind for pain control. Specifically, they distributed preservative-free methylprednisolone aceta, which was used to treat people with lower back pain. Considering I’m a person with back pain (and a lot more since I fell down the stairs), I have a great deal of empathy for those who need the steroid injections.

More than 17,000 vials of methylprednisolone aceta were shipped to various facilities around the States. Some 13,000 people may have been injected with it before its recall.

Recall? What recall?

Well, what those 13,000 patients and the medical personnel who injected the steroid didn’t know was that a whole lot of the vials contained a fungus that causes meningitis and the only possible cure was months of intravenous antibiotics.

More than 750 people got sick, and over a tenth of those died.

I’m not sure if you are familiar with what meningitis does to a body aside from killing it. It can cause deafness, mental handicaps, and epilepsy. It can cause gangrene that necessitates the amputation of limbs. So even if the stricken patients survive, there are likely devastating, debilitating consequences they must cope with the remainder of their lives.

Now how did a dangerous fungus wind up in vials of Barry Cadden’s special mix of methylprednisolone aceta? Well, because he chose to disregard all the protocols for safety and cleanliness, his pharmacy had standing water and mold, and even his workers’ gloves had bacteria on them. It was a formula for disaster. It seems those nuisance regulations had a purpose after all.

In order to skirt the regulations, Barry Cadden and company falsified logs to make it look like the facility was sanitized and disinfected. It was no doubt cheaper to create fake paperwork than to actually do the work of cleaning.

So after the horrific outbreak of meningitis and other fungal infections in 2012, health officials traced the cause right back to the New England Compound Center.
The pharmacy recalled its products and suspended operations voluntarily.

I’m sure the regulators who inspected the facility pretty shocked by the disgusting lack of cleanliness.

In 2014, Barry Cadden and company found themselves charged in a 131-count indictment. Federal prosecutors even charged Barry Cadden with 2nd-degree murder.

“Barry Cadden put profits over patients,” said Acting U.S. Attorney William D. Weinreb for the District of Massachusetts.

Shockingly, at least to me, Barry Cadden was cleared of the murder charges in early 2017. He was convicted of multiple counts of racketeering, conspiracy and fraud.

U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns in Massachusetts could have sentenced the heartless, soulless pharmacist to 35 years. The prosecutors certainly asked for that, arguing that Barry Cadden has shown “unconscionable disregard for the lives of patients”.

The defense attorneys argued for a piddly 3-year sentence. Yeah, right, like that would be justice for the 76 deceased individuals and the almost 700 surviving victims.

Barry Cadden’s lawyers argued that he never intended to sell contaminated drugs. I won’t argue with that, but he most certainly engineered the situation to ultimately lead to contamination.

At sentencing, Barry Cadden teared up. “As head of a company that made drugs that killed and sickened these people, I say with full sincerity that it breaks my heart to read about how painful their deaths were,” the heartless beast said.

Breaks his heart? What heart? He didn’t give a flying rat’s ass about “these people” when he authorized the delivery of likely contaminated steroids around the U.S. Where was this heart when he allowed an unlicensed technician to manufacture batches of drugs? Where was his sincerity when he disregarded the cleanliness of his staff and facility, and covered it up with fake paperwork?

Judge Stearns had spent a weekend reading the impact statements, and he decided that Barry Cadden, 50, should serve 9 years in prison. Not 35 years. Nine. Some victims considered the sentence a “slap in the face”.

In my opinion, a longer sentence would have been more appropriate. Seventy-six people died needlessly, and several hundreds suffered and likely continue to suffer painful and debilitating health issues. And then there’s the cost of being sick, and the lifelong care a lot of them will need. All because Barry Cadden decided he wasn’t rich enough.

I wish the victims, their families and friends all the best. My heart goes out to all those people who only wanted some pain relief and instead were given lifelong agony.

I certainly hope Barry Cadden will emerge from prison a better man — one with a real heart and a real soul who values people more than filthy lucre. I wish he could be made to visit a victim and/or their family and friends – one a day – to learn exactly what the repercussions were for his insatiable greed. I wish he could be made to pay for the funeral and hospital expenses that were caused by his callous disregard for others. I wish he could be made to create a fund that would be used to pay for special care, medical devices, home alterations, and transportation for the survivors for the rest of their lives.

Alas, I’m not in charge of the world, so I can’t try to right the wrongs committed by Barry Cadden. All I can do is make public what this selfish, greedy hellbeast did and was willing to do to enrich his pitiful self.

AP Photo by Steven Senne

Fox News article
Washington Post article
CNBC article

5 Responses to Barry J. Cadden

  1. Tom Daly says:

    I don’t know why people like that sold a dangerous drug to hospitals. Seriously, I hope he grows a soul and realises how many lives he ruined.

  2. bulldoggy says:

    My neighbor’s daughter went deaf as a baby because of meningitis. It’s a pitiless disease that strikes the very young, the very old, and everyone in between. Damn this bastard for risking thousands and thousands of people’s lives in the name of the almighty dollar.

  3. Moodymagic says:

    9 years is a joke for this greedy bastard. My heart goes out to all the poor victims.

  4. Bengalpuss. says:

    Id stake my life on it, if it woulda been somebody who wasn’t rich like this pig they’d be sentenced to the max. Money talks. Its like the saying “rob a bank with a gun you get 25years, rob a bank with a pen to embezzle millions, you get 5 years suspended sentence” its not what you know its who you know, money talks. This pig shoulda been given the max, 75 people died for Christ sake, where’s the justice in that!.

  5. SydeeGirl says:

    What a sentence! He is going to get a tan and play tennis in a US prison. This is racketeering, people, no murder!! The problem is these high priced attorneys (I work for an attorney, but family law. Not the same at all!). 75 people died. Shame on either the court that did not see this as a murder case, or the prosecutors who cut a “deal” with this devil. Yuck, I can feel the silk ties of these slime-balls on my skin, and it’s sickening. A sentence of 9 years IS a slap in the face to every victim, and the victim’s family members! Remember, these judges are elected.

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