Fresno Bee Editorial Endorses Bill to Allow Sale of Hypodermic Syringes Without a Prescription
The California Medical Association, the California Nurses Association and the California Pharmacists Association have "wisely" endorsed a Senate-passed bill (SB 1785) that would allow adults to purchase as many as 30 hypodermic needles at licensed pharmacies without a doctor's prescription, according to a Fresno Bee editorial (Fresno Bee, 6/4). State law currently requires a prescription to purchase needles, except for those used to inject adrenaline or insulin. The bill, which passed 21-12 last month, would require pharmacies to store syringes so that they are available only to authorized personnel and not openly available to customers. The legislation also would require pharmacists to provide an on-site safe syringe disposal program and information on drug treatment and disease prevention (California Healthline, 5/24). "There is no benefit" to the state law that requires adults to obtain a prescription to purchase syringes, the Bee states. According to the editorial, the law offers "no deterrent" to illicit drug users, who "just share needles," a practice that can increase the spread of diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C. The editorial concludes, "It's a law that is a prescription for the continued spread of disease, and the Legislature should dump it" (Fresno Bee, 6/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.