Nov 2 (Reuters) - Ameridose LLC, sister company to the pharmacy at the heart of a meningitis outbreak in the United States, has agreed to extend its closure by two weeks while state and federal investigators continue to examine its facilities.
The company's accord on Friday with Massachusetts regulators will keep it closed until Nov. 19, according to the agreement, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.
Ameridose has the same owners as the New England Compounding Center (NECC), which distributed a tainted steroid used for back pain that has killed 28 people in the meningitis outbreak. On Thursday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the toll was revised down from 29 deaths.
Two days ago, Ameridose issued a voluntary recall of all its products following a U.S. Food and Drug Administration directive to improve its sterility testing process.
Westborough, Massachusetts-based Ameridose closed on Oct. 10. It said on Wednesday that it had not received any reports of adverse reactions to the drugs it is recalling. NECC's injectable steroids turned out to be contaminated with fungus and as of Thursday, are blamed for 377 cases of fungal meningitis.
The FDA previously said it had contacted other manufacturers about filling the supply gap left by the shutdown of Ameridose, which makes and ships sterile injectable drugs. The Massachusetts Medical Association said the drug recall ``will exacerbate an already troubling shortage of medications.''