Sacramento, Calif., City Council Approves Sale of Nonprescription Needles
The Sacramento, Calif., City Council on Tuesday voted 6-2 to approve a measure that will allow the nonprescription sale of syringes to adults, the Sacramento Bee reports (Stern, Sacramento Bee, 9/6). The Sacramento County, Calif., Board of Supervisors in October 2005 voted 3-2 to reject a proposal that would have allowed the sales. California law only allows prescription sales of syringes, except when used to inject adrenaline or insulin. However, under a state law (SB 1159) that took effect Jan. 1, 2005, cities and counties in the state can authorize pharmacies to sell up to 10 sterile syringes at a time to an adult without a prescription (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/3). "Hepatitis C and HIV are on the rise in Sacramento, and we can take a public stand and create a program to combat the spread of disease and save lives," Council member Ray Tretheway said. According to the Bee, pharmacies will be required to provide people purchasing needles with verbal counseling or written information about the availability of drug treatment, locations of disposal sites and access to testing for diseases. In addition, pharmacies will be required to provide a disposal site for used needles. The program could begin in about six to eight weeks and will be administered by county health officer Glennah Trochet, the Bee reports (Sacramento Bee, 9/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.