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Pharmacists Fighting New Pharm Tech Legislation

By: Matt Galka Email
By: Matt Galka Email

Ohio native Chris Jerry lost his daughter Emily in 2006 thanks to a pharmacy technician oversight.

"Emily overdosed on of all things sodium chloride. Salt," said Jerry at a press conference at Florida's capitol.

A pharmacy technician gave Emily the wrong dosage, and her death led to new legislation in Ohio. Now Florida House and Senate bills would allow for there to be six pharmacy techs working under one pharmacist, and that has brought Jerry to the sunshine state to speak out against the proposals.

"If you increase that number of pharmacy technicians you're increasing the load on pharmacists involved. There's going to be a higher probability of errors occuring and they will occur," said Jerry.

Florida currently allows three techs to every one licensed pharmacist to do things such as dispense medications. Pharmacists from around Florida said doubling the amount to six could lead to fatal mistakes.

"You're asking a great deal of work to be placed upon that pharmacist when you double the technicians. Yes, you can absolutely fill prescriptions faster, but can that pharmacist check them faster and can they do it accurately? That is what concerns me," said Hillsborough County pharmacist George Malone.

Walgreens supports the bills. They releases a statement to WCTV that reads:

“This legislation would allow more pharmacy technicians to perform administrative tasks and allow pharmacists more time to be with patients, to counsel and advise, and to provide additional healthcare services. Community pharmacists are well-positioned to support patients in managing their condition and addressing the variety of issues they may face each day.”

Chris Jerry will speak before the Senate Health Policy committee Tuesday before members vote on the proposed senate bill.


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