WBUR's Martha Bebinger reports:
The sister company of the Framingham pharmacy linked to the nationwide meningitis outbreak is temporarily laying off 790 employees.
Ameridose and its marketing company, Medical Sales Management share owners with New England Compounding Center, the pharmacy tied to steroids tainted with a deadly fungus. Ameridose has been under investigation and closed for more than a month even though inspectors have not found problems with any Ameridose products. Sources say the closure is costing Ameridose more than a million dollars a week. In a letter to employees, Human Resources director Geri Weinstein says Ameridose hopes the layoffs are temporary and that employees will be brought back to work. But Weinstein says that while the company expects to reopen, it will likely be at a reduced level.
Even with the layoffs, some employees will remain, according to a company spokesperson, who said: "Enough staff has been kept on to both manage the recall that is underway and to implement the recommendations that are expected from the FDA."
Here's a copy of the letter to employees:
Responding to reports of the layoffs, the Massachusetts Hospital Association put out this statement:
“While not commenting directly on Ameridose’s actions regarding its employees, the company’s cessation of production of important medications aggravates an increasingly serious problem of drug shortages for hospitals. MHA and its hospital members will continue to work with DPH in an effort to address this issue and seek alternative sources of needed medications.”
This program aired on November 8, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.