The New Hampshire House has passed a drug testing bill inspired by the hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital.
The bill, approved 289 to 48 by the House on Wednesday, would require hospitals to set up policies to prevent misuse of drugs by employees to maintain their licenses. It would also require they test employees for drugs if there was a reasonable suspicion of drug use.
The measure was inspired by the case of David Kwiatkowski, who was sentenced in December to 39 years in prison after admitting he stole painkillers from the hospital and replaced them with saline-filled syringes tainted with his blood.
Kwiatkowski had worked as a cardiac technologist in seven states before being hired in New Hampshire in 2011, despite being fired numerous times over drug allegations. Since his arrest in 2012, 46 people have been diagnosed with the same strain of hepatitis C he carries.