UPDATE 1-Ameridose plans voluntary shutdown amid meningitis outbreak

(Adds details on shutdown at Ameridose, Alaunus)

By Tim McLaughlin

BOSTON, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Two Boston-area pharmacycompanies that share common ownership with the company at thecenter of a deadly U.S. meningitis outbreak plan to ceaseoperations temporarily as a precautionary move, Massachusettshealth officials said on Wednesday.

Ameridose LLC, a private company that mixes drugs forhospitals nationwide, is expected to shut down for a week.Alaunus Pharmaceutical also will temporarily cease distributionof all products made by Ameridose or any other company undershared ownership.

State regulators said at a press conference they have noevidence to suggest that Ameridose products have beencompromised and a recall has not been requested. Healthcareproviders may continue to use any medications they have instock.

Massachusetts regulators, meanwhile, are requiring all statecompounding pharmacies to sign a statement that they arefollowing rules on altering medications.

Ameridose, based in Westborough, Massachusetts, is workingto distance itself from New England Compounding Center, whichdistributed thousands of vials of a contaminated steroid thathas been implicated in 12 deaths.

All three companies - Alaunus, Ameridose and NECC - areowned by Gregory Conigliaro, an engineer who invented a way toturn plastic into pothole filler, and his brother-in-law, BarryCadden, a pharmacist in charge of pharmacy operations at the NewEngland Compounding Center, according to records filed withMassachusetts authorities.

(Reporting By Tim McLaughlin; Additional reporting by ToniClarke in Boston; Editing by Sandra Maler and Eric Walsh)

((tim.mclaughlin@thomsonreuters.com)(+1 617-856-4409))