23220 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 476, Beachwood, OH, 44122 [email protected] 440.289.8662

Fatal dose: Pharmacy tech working again

Channel 3 News has learned that Pharmacy Technician Katie Ferg-Dudash, who mixed a fatal dose of Sodium Chloride that killed 2-year-old Emily Jerry is working at a local CVS Pharmacy.

In February 2006, Emily Jerry went to Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital for her final dose of chemotherapy for a cancerous tumor in her abdomen. By this point, it appeared Emily had beaten the cancer but her doctors wanted her to have one more dose to make sure.

On February 26, 2006, records show Katie Ferg- Dudash was working in the IV room where chemo drugs are compounded. Records show Dudash mixed a dose of Sodium Chloride that was 24 times more than the prescribed amount. She informed supervising pharmacist, Eric Cropp, that she thought something was wrong with the mixture but neither of them stopped the dose from reaching Emily.

Emily Jerry died from the overdose on March 1st.

Now Dudash is working as a Pharmacy Technician at the Euclid CVS at E. 222nd and Lakeshore. Channel 3 was unable to reach her for comment.

CVS Corporate claims in a statement, “Prior to her employment at the hospital, Dudash worked at the Euclid location for several years as a Pharmacy Technician and had an excellent record. We were not aware of the incident at the hospital until today, in which it is our understanding there were no criminal charges filed. CVS does not allow technicians to compound medications. We have placed Katie on paid leave while we investigate this matter further.”

Last month, Cropp went before the Ohio Pharmacy Board and was stripped of his Pharmacist license. Pharmacists are held ultimately responsible for any mistake made by a Pharmacy Technician.

There are no laws in Ohio regulating the Pharmacy Technician field. So Dudash is not breaking any law, was never criminally charged and is free to continue in her field. That’s why State Senator Tim Grendell and Rep. Steve LaTourette are drafting state and federal legislation to regulate the Pharmacy Technician field. Ohio is one of a handful of states that require no certification, licensing, testing or training requirements.

Article written by Monica Robins, for WKYC.com. It was originally posted
on 5/9/2007.