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16-Dec-08 3:00 PM  CST  

Emily's Law Passes in OH Congress 

In an effort to ensure all pharmacy technicians in Ohio are better prepared to meet the demands of their industry, State Senator Tim Grendell (R- Chesterland) today announced that the Ohio House of Representatives approved Senate Bill 203, Emily’s Law, legislation that will ensure pharmacy technicians have the training and experience to properly and safely dispense medications to Ohio patients.

Following the tragic and untimely death of two-year old Emily, Senator Grendell was moved to introduce SB 203. Emily was undergoing treatment for chemotherapy at an area hospital and prior to her death, the treatment had been successful. Her doctors recommended that she have one more round of chemotherapy and during the course of that treatment, the pharmacy technician improperly mixed the IV and Emily was given an IV that contained a solution of 23% saline; a standard mix has less than one percent.

“In this state we require barbers, beauticians and cosmetologist to become licensed in order to work in their field, however, we do not require any such standard of our pharmacy technicians, the individuals who are responsible for mixing many of the drugs prescribed to us by our doctors,” Grendell said.

Under Emily’s Law, individuals looking to become pharmacy technicians would have to meet certain training and certification requirements. Technicians would be required to have a minimum number of training hours before being able to work independently, as well as receive national accreditation. This legislation will also give the Ohio Pharmacy Board the authority to monitor and regulate technicians. Additionally, Senator Grendell’s bill will limit the number of technicians that are able to work under a single pharmacist in an effort to ensure pharmacist are able to properly manage and monitor the work of the technicians.

“The tragedy experienced by the Jerry family was completely preventable and I am confident that if the provisions outlined in SB 203 are signed into law, Ohio will have an improved set of standards for pharmacy technicians that will help to prevent this type of tragedy from happening to other innocent people,” Grendell said.

SB 203 will be sent to the Senate for concurrence on Wednesday and then to the Governor for signature.

NPTA assisted Senator Grendell in the revision of this bill to it's current language and participated at key Senate and House of Representative hearings during 2008. Additionally, NPTA will continue to work directly with Kelly Jerry to expand this model piece of legislation nationwide.

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