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Lawmakers say pharmacists need a break during long shifts

COLUMBIA (AP) A bill requiring pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in South Carolina not providing critical care in hospitals to take a 30-minute break during a 12-hour shift has passed a House committee.

Pharmacists testified earlier that they are often fatigued from working long hours and that could lead to errors that may impact patient health and safety.

The committee April 24 approved an amendment from Democratic Rep. Robert Ridgeway of Manning exempting pharmacists and technicians who provide critical care in hospitals saying there are often more patients than available medical professionals to provide care.

Critics of the legislation say lawmakers should not specify a profession in the bill.

Currently, there are no state laws mandating employers to provide breaks for their employees.

The bill now heads to the House floor.

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