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Prosecutor: NECC Co-Founder Put 'Profits Over Patients'

BOSTON (CBS/AP) — A lawyer for the former president of a compounding pharmacy blamed for a deadly national meningitis outbreak told jurors Monday that his client isn't responsible.

Barry Cadden is charged with 25 counts of second-degree murder under racketeering law and dozens of other felonies in a 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak.

The outbreak was traced to tainted steroid injections manufactured at the now-closed New England Compounding Center in Framingham.

Sixty-four people died and more than 700 were sickened around the country after tainted steroids made by NECC were shipped to pain clinics and hospitals.

In opening statements at Cadden's trial in federal court in Boston Monday, his lawyer said there were "isolated" instances of human error that led to contaminated drugs being sent out. But he said Cadden wasn't one of the people who actually made the drug.

Earlier in the day, a federal prosecutor told the jury that Cadden put "profits over patients," claiming he failed to make sure his drugs were sterile and that he lied to health officials investigating what was making so many people sick.

Cadden has pleaded not guilty.

A compounding pharmacy mixes customized medications for patients in the strength and dosage they require.

(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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