State Extends Temporary Closure Of Affiliated Pharmacy

A pharmacy with the same owners as a Massachusetts specialty pharmacy at the center of a fungal meningitis outbreak that has killed 21 people has agreed to remain closed until at least Nov. 5.

Ameridose had agreed to a request from state regulators to temporarily shut down so it could be inspected. It was scheduled to reopen Monday.

The Board of Registration in Pharmacy said in a letter Friday to Ameridose's lawyer that it needs the extension to conduct "a comprehensive investigation of facility operations."

Ameridose, based in Westborough, said the agreement states that neither the board nor Ameridose is aware that any product compounded or produced by Ameridose "is in any way unfit for use or consumption."

Ameridose is a key supplier of IV antibiotics and pre-filled syringes to Massachusetts hospitals. To make up for the loss of products from Ameridose, hospitals, including Mass General, are increasing their own drug production, shipping medicines between hospitals and screening new suppliers.

The outbreak has been linked to steroids produced by New England Compounding Center of Framingham.

The outbreak's 21st death was announced Friday by the CDC.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

This article was originally published on October 19, 2012.

This program aired on October 19, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.


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