Victims Of Outbreak Tied To Framingham Pharmacy React To Mixed Verdict

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A vial of injectable steroids from the New England Compounding Center is displayed in this 2012 file photo. (Kristin M. Hal/AP)
A vial of injectable steroids from the New England Compounding Center is displayed in this 2012 file photo. (Kristin M. Hal/AP)

The former head of a Framingham compounding pharmacy found responsible for a 2012 fungal infection outbreak that killed 64 people and sickened hundreds more was acquitted on Wednesday of murder allegations but found guilty of racketeering and other crimes.

That's left victims of the outbreak with mixed reactions.

We checked in with two people we introduced you to back in January — 62-year-old Bill Thomas of Michigan and 46-year-old Angela Farthing of Maryland. They're still suffering health effects from receiving injections of the tainted steroid painkillers produced at New England Compounding Center. Those include chronic pain and cognitive difficulties.

Bill Thomas: I'm disappointed that it wasn't unanimous on the murder convictions, and I can only hope that the judge is aggressive with the sentencing on the racketeering charges.

Lisa Mullins: Does it bring any kind of solace or a sense of validation that somebody is being held responsible for the crimes that led to some 700 people, including you, being sickened and 64 people dying? Does that make any kind of a difference to you?

Well, it doesn't change anything for me. It helps to know that our legal system works. Somebody's going to be held accountable in a legal sense. And in an incredible number of other ways they've already been held accountable — by their bankruptcy, the destruction of their business, and the destruction of the reputation of some of the people involved.

How important is the time Barry Cadden serves [in prison] to you?

To me I think it's important that he receives all of his sentences consecutively ... I just hope that he really gets what he deserves and that he's at least as miserable as the people that he's affected.

Barry Cadden's associate, Glen Chin, is set to be put on trial next. How invested do you feel in that trial?

I'm more invested in Glen Chin's trial because he personally manufactured the poison that went into everybody's spine, including mine. His hands gave me a lifetime sentence of increased pain and reduced mental function, and I really want to see him get life in prison.

Angela Farthing: We are not recovered and better. We still suffer. People are relapsing, people are having abscesses grow again. We all have what's called arachnoiditis, which is a very painful condition. So even though we did survive this, we have a life conviction of pain. So if he goes in for 20 years, he will then be out after that and he can go on with his life. But all of us will suffer until the day we die. And the people who lost their loved ones will suffer the loss of their loved one until the day they die. So he has impacted so many people and hurt so many families across this nation. And for him to have only 20 years doesn't seem enough to me.

Is there something about the fact that he wasn't convicted of second-degree murder — of a kind of bodily harm? Does that make a difference to you, versus racketeering charges and mail fraud charges?

Yeah, it does make a difference, because people died and they're gone, and nobody is paying for that. They were murdered. When they were injected with that medicine, they were murdered. And nobody is paying for that.

This article was originally published on March 22, 2017.

This segment aired on March 22, 2017.


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Lisa Mullins Host, All Things Considered
Lisa Mullins is the voice of WBUR’s All Things Considered. She anchors the program, conducts interviews and reports from the field.


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Lynn Jolicoeur Producer/Reporter
Lynn Jolicoeur is the field producer for WBUR's All Things Considered. She also reports for the station's various local news broadcasts.



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