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Hospitals Worry Meningitis Fallout May Worsen Drug Shortages

(multimediaimpre/flickr)
(multimediaimpre/flickr)

Hospitals across the state are worried that the temporary closure of a pharmaceutical manufacturer in Westborough may increase the chronic problem of drug shortages.

Ameridose is a key supplier of IV antibiotics and prefilled syringes. There are no reported problems with Ameridose products, but the company stopped operations while an investigation of contaminated steroids at a jointly owned pharmacy, New England Compounding Center, is under way.

The Massachusetts Hospital Association says the effects of the Ameridose shutdown vary widely, depending on a hospital's reliance on the company. At Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Elizabeth Mort says the hospital is looking for new suppliers:

"If, however, Ameridose is closed for a prolonged period of time, it will be all the more challenging to keep the drug supply uninterrupted to our patients."

The state has agreed to help hospitals manage and replenish shortages that arise while Ameridose is closed.

This program aired on October 17, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Martha Bebinger Twitter Reporter
Martha Bebinger covers health care and other general assignments for WBUR.

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