Ameridose LLC, sister company to the Framingham compounding pharmacy whose drugs have been implicated in the national fungal meningitis outbreak, has notified hundreds of workers they are being laid off Friday, as the company remains under a temporary closure order after regulators raised concerns about sterility practices there.
The layoff affects 650 workers at Ameridose, a major supplier of injectable drugs to hospitals nationwide, and 140 at its affiliated marketing company, Medical Sales Management. Both companies share owners with New England Compounding Center, the Framingham company that produced steroid injections blamed for 424 cases of fungal meningitis and joint infections and 31 deaths.
“It was the Company’s expectation that the suspension of operations would be temporary in nature and that we would be able to fully resume operations in a short time period,” reads a letter going out to workers from Ameridose’s director of human resources, Geri Weinstein.
“While we continue to expect to resume operations, we have now determined that because of the continued inspection by state and federal authorities it may be necessary to resume operations at a reduced level,” it states.
Ameridose agreed to temporarily shut down October 10 to allow investigators time to review its operations, but that closure was extended to Nov. 19 after the FDA last week said it had found problems with the company’s sterility procedures. The investigation has so far found no contaminated drugs but it is continuing.
The company released a statement saying it continues to work with federal and state inspectors investigating the company.
“We anticipate receiving recommendations from these agencies soon, and responsibly implementing them to meet their concerns. Our goal is to resume operations at Ameridose as soon as possible, and to put these dedicated employees who have been affected by this shutdown back to work,” the statement said.
The letter sent to workers says that layoffs will begin Friday and will continue until the end of the month.
“In our current circumstances, our business prospects are very difficult to predict, and it is our hope that your layoff will be temporary and that you will be brought back to work,” it said.
“It is very important that you know we are working diligently and cooperatively with our regulators to address any issues they have raised, and with the goal of resuming Ameridose’s operations as soon as possible,” it said.