URI pharmacy professor resigns following federal conviction

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) — An assistant pharmacy professor at the University of Rhode Island convicted of dispensing drugs without valid prescriptions to defraud or mislead government regulators has resigned.

URI confirms to The Providence Journal that Michelle Caetano Thomas left her post May 6.

Thomas was one of 14 people indicted after an investigation into the New England Compounding Center, the Framingham, Massachusetts pharmacy blamed for a nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak that killed 76 people. Thomas and a co-defendant were not charged in connection with the outbreak.

Prosecutors say they were verification pharmacists, signing off on orders to customers with fake names without valid prescriptions to evade regulatory oversight. They say the Cumberland woman approved shipments of drugs for patients with names like Filet O’ Fish and Harry Potter.

Thomas has appealed.

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