Bill That Would Have Funded Needle-Exchange Program in N.C. Counties Fails To Pass General Assembly
A bill (HB 411) that would have allowed funding for a needle-exchange program in three North Carolina counties failed to pass the General Assembly after stalling in a House committee, county Health Director Merle Green said Monday, the Greensboro News & Record reports. The bill would have allowed injection drug users to exchange used syringes for clean ones to prevent the spread of HIV and other diseases (Greensboro News & Record, 9/20). If passed, the measure, introduced in March by State Rep. Thomas Wright (D), would have established needle-exchange programs in the three counties, provided $550,000 annually for two years for the programs and evaluated the program's effectiveness. Currently, North Carolina law classifies needles as illegal drug paraphernalia, and there are no state-run, state-funded or state-sanctioned exchange programs (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/21). Green said that according to legislators, the bill might come up again (Greensboro News & Record, 9/20).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.