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Layoffs at firm tied to Mass. pharmacy in outbreak

Associated Press Modified: November 8, 2012 at 8:16 pm •  Published: November 8, 2012

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts company with the same founders as a pharmacy tied to a deadly meningitis outbreak said Thursday it is laying off nearly all its employees amid a prolonged closure for inspection.

Employees at Ameridose LLC, which produces drugs for hospital pharmacies, were notified of the layoffs in a letter Thursday.

The notice affects 650 employees at Ameridose and 140 employees at its marketing and support arm, Medical Sales Management, said Ameridose spokesman Andrew Paven.

The Westborough company has paid its employees since it voluntarily closed for inspection Oct. 10 because of problems at its sister company, the New England Compounding Center pharmacy in Framingham near Boston.

The meningitis outbreak, which has spread to 19 states and sickened more than 400 people, 31 of whom have died, has been linked to a steroid made by the NECC.

No problems have been linked to Ameridose products. But last week, the company recalled all its products after U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials told the company it must improve its sterility testing. A small number of Ameridose workers will be retained amid the recall and to implement changes that federal regulators are expected to recommend, Paven said.

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