Girl's death prompts bills to regulate pharmacy techs

One bill would require a two-year training program or internship.
CLEVELAND (AP) -- The death of a 2-year-old girl who received an overdose of salt solution while receiving treatment at a hospital has prompted two lawmakers to work on proposals to establish state and federal standards for pharmacy technicians.
Emily Jerry of Mentor died last February after a pharmacy technician incorrectly prepared her intravenous treatment with a 23 percent saline solution instead of a typical mix of less than 1 percent, according to the State Board of Pharmacy. Emily was undergoing chemotherapy treatment at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.
The mistake went undiscovered by the technician's supervising pharmacist, who resigned. Eric Cropp of Bay Village faces a disciplinary hearing before the board in April, but the board has no power over the unidentified technician, who was fired, because pharmacy technicians are unregulated in Ohio.
State Sen. Tim Grendell, a Chesterland Republican, said he plans to introduce a bill that would require pharmacy technicians to complete a two-year training program or internship, pass a state or national exam and be licensed through the state pharmacy board.
U.S. Rep. Steve LaTourette, a Madison Republican, is working on a bill that would establish federal standards for pharmacy technician training and registration by the states, a spokeswoman said.
The girl's parents reached an out-of-court settlement with the hospital in October. The Cuyahoga County prosecutor's office will decide whether to pursue a criminal investigation after reviewing the state pharmacy board's investigation, spokesman Ryan Miday said.
Rob Whitehouse, a spokesman for University Hospitals, of which Rainbow Babies and Children's is a unit, said the hospital had not been contacted by the prosecutor's office and had no comment.

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