FRAMINGHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - The New England Compounding Center (NECC) sales director has pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the FDA on Monday.
Robert Ronzio, 42 of North Providence, Rhode Island, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to defraud the FDA. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 27, 2017.
Officials say Ronzio is cooperating with the government and will likely testify at trials of other defendants.
According to the Justice Department, Ronzio admitted that NECC was dispensing drugs for physician-related prescriptions rather than distributing drugs in bulk. The company went to great lengths to deceive state and federal regulators.
Ronzio reportedly admitted that the NECC would request patient names with orders but would not label the drugs with the names of patients, allowing the company’s customers to use the drugs for any patients. He admitted that the NECC created the work-around to maintain the company’s status as a pharmacy.
The case became a criminal complaint after a nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis that occurred after 751 patients in 20 states were diagnosed with a fungal infection after getting injections of MPA from NECC. A total of 64 patients died as a result.
Ronzio and 13 other owners were charged in December 2014 after a two-year investigation.
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