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The Ohio Legislature’s passage of a law named for a young girl who died after receiving the wrong IV solution to require a background check and competency test certified by the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy for pharmacy technicians provides a new measure of safety for patients.
Emily’s Law, which Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland signed Jan. 7, elevates pharmacy techs from semi-skilled assistants to formally trained paraprofessionals, helping to ensure that mistakes like the one that killed Emily Jerry after a pharmacy tech made a prescription error with saline solution don’t happen again.
But even more important than that, Emily’s Law and other laws like it will help elevate the profile of the pharmacy technician in the mind of the consumer. And more so, it has members of Congress considering a federal requirement, which would be a welcome blessing to retail pharmacy operators; a one-size-fits-all, national certification standard is exponentially easier to implement than dozens of different requirements that vary by state.
According to the National Pharmacy Technician Association, pharmacy techs practicing in Ohio will have until August to become compliant with the new rules.