Ohio governor signs Emily’s Law, adds regulations for pharmacy techs
COLUMBUS, Ohio A bill to strictly regulate the activities and qualifications of pharmacy technicians is now the law in Ohio.
On Jan. 7, Gov. Ted Strickland signed the bill, known as Emily’s Law, culminating a major initiative to create regulatory and practice standards for pharmacy technicians following the death in 2006 of two-year-old Emily Jerry at the Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland. Her death, following a prescription error with saline solution by a pharmacy technician, prompted an acceleration in the training and certification of pharmacy techs.
The case drew national attention, and renewed calls for a national accreditation standard for pharmacy techs. It has also pushed Congress to consider federal legislation, introduced in the House last year by Ohio Republican Rep. Steve LaTourette and dubbed Emily’s Act, to require that pharmacy technicians be trained, registered and certified across the country.
Gov. Strickland signed the bill into law in a ceremony Wednesday that included the Jerry family, the Ohio pharmacy board and the National Pharmacy Technician Association [NPTA], which had worked with Emily’s mother, Kelly Jerry, for passage of the bill. With Strickland’s action, Ohio joins a list of some 40 states that have adopted regulations governing pharmacy technicians, according to the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.
The law will require that pharmacy techs be at least 18 years of age, register with the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy and pass a board-certified competency exam. Emily’s Law also stipulates new standards on training and education, criminal records and disciplinary actions.
Pharmacy techs currently practicing in the state will have 210 days to become compliant with the new rules, according to the NPTA.
Mike Johnston, chairman and chief executive of the group, called Emily’s Law “a significant step in protecting the citizens of Ohio from preventable medication errors.”
Liquidia partners with Abbott on genetic disease treatment research
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. A pharmaceutical company and a nanotechnology company will collaborate to develop particles to deliver short interfering RNA particle therapeutics.
Liquidia Technologies and Abbott announced the collaboration Wednesday, in which they will use Liquidia’s PRINT technology to fabricate nanoparticles of precise shape, size and chemistry to shut off genes associated with certain diseases.
“Delivery has been the most significant hurdle to realizing the broad potential of siRNA therapeutics,” Liquidia CEO Neal Fowler said in a statement. “We are very pleased to form a partnership with Abbott, which we hope will enable significant progress in addressing this problem.”
Under the agreement, Liquidia will provide Abbott with certain rights to PRINT technology for developing and commercializing siRNA therapeutics. The two companies did not disclose financial terms.
PhRMA, health organizations release video ad pushing healthcare reform
WASHINGTON Six organizations representing a broad portion of the U.S. healthcare industry unveiled an advertisement Thursday to promote healthcare reform as a top priority for the incoming Obama Administration and the next Congress.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Regence BlueCross BlueShield, the American Medical Association, the Service Employees International Union, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and Families USA showed the 30-second ad at a press conference at the American Medical Association’s headquarters in Washington Thursday.
The ad focuses on the country’s manufacturing industries, opening with shots of decrepit factories and cobwebbed equipment, followed by shots of working factories with employees. It opens with the line, “At a time when American businesses are hurting, why should we worry about fixing health care? Because quality, affordable health care can save money and make businesses more competitive.”
The organizations plant to run the ad until Feb. 5, possibly later.
“Expanding access to quality and affordable health insurance is good for patients and good for our economy,” PhRMA president and CEO Billy Tauzin said in a statement released with the ad. “Improved access means we can do more to promote prevention and more to detect and treat conditions at an early stage, when we can do the most to avoid poor health outcomes and costly complications of chronic diseases, which account for seven out of every 10 deaths in America.”