Illinois House to Debate Public Syringe Purchasing Bill
The Human Services Committee of the Illinois House last week approved 7-2 a bill (HB 923) that would permit sterile syringe purchases at pharmacies without a prescription and "preven[t] hundreds of HIV infections each year," according to an AIDS Foundation of Chicago release. If enacted, Illinois would be the 46th state to allow the public sale of syringes, a measure AIDS advocates have supported because they say that the measure would work to "slow the spread of HIV without increasing drug use" (AIDS Foundation of Chicago release, 2/28). HB 923 states, "A pharmacist may sell up to 10 sterile hypodermic syringes or needles to a person who is at least 18 years of age. A syringe or needle ... must be stored at a pharmacy and in a manner that limits access to ... pharmacists" (HB 923 text, 3/2). HB 923 will now be considered by the full House. The House passed 65-49 a similar bill (HB 298) last year with "substantial bipartisan support," but the Legislature adjourned before the full Senate could consider its passage. State Sens. Steve Rauschenberger (R) and Donne Trotter (D) have reintroduced the bill (SB 155) in the Senate this year, and the legislation "was moved out" of the Senate Rules Committee on Feb. 28, which "clears the path for consideration" by the Senate Public Health Committee (AIDS Foundation of Chicago release, 2/28).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.