Needle Exchange Programs Could Save Texas ‘Millions Of Dollars,’ Opinion Piece Says
Needle exchange programs (NEPs) "are an inexpensive public health intervention, especially when compared with the social costs of treating individuals with HIV or hepatitis-related chronic liver disease," Maureen Trotter, a pathologist and president of the Taylor-Jones-Haskell County Medical Society, writes in the Abilene Reporter News. She adds that legislation introduced this year in the Texas Legislature "to allow public health departments and organizations to establish disease control programs that provide for the anonymous exchange of used hypodermic needles and syringes for sterile ones, offer education and substance abuse treatment and blood-borne disease testing" failed to come to a floor vote. Trotter further discusses NEPs, citing data on outcomes of NEPs, and writes, "The costs of preventing one case of HIV is estimated between $4,000 and $12,000 via NEPs. The medical cost of treating a person infected with HIV is about $200,000," adding, "These programs, if implemented, could save Texas millions of dollars" (7/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.