Disease Prevention Demonstration Project

Contact Information
LAC Department of Public Health
Public Health Policy
Anna Long
241 N. Figueroa St. Room 306 C
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Public Health Policy - The Disease Prevention Demonstration Project (DPDP)

Disease Prevention Demonstration Project (DPDP)

NOTE: Starting 1/1/2012, this program will be replaced by the
Over-the-Counter Pharmacy Syringe Sales Program.


In September of 2004, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill (SB) 1159 which created the the Disease Prevention Demonstration Project (DPDP). SB 1159 went into effect in 2005 and made it legal for licensed pharmacists to sell ten or fewer hypodermic needles or syringes without a prescription in cities and counties that have authorized the DPDP.

The DPDP is a program in Los Angeles County that allows registered pharmacies to sell up to 10 syringes to anyone over the age 18. The pharmacy must be registered with the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health.


What the Law Says

  • Allows licensed pharmacists in California to sell ten or fewer hypodermic needles and syringes to a person 18 years old or older without a prescription. The pharmacy must be located in a county or city that has authorized the DPDP.
  • Allows persons 18 years old or older to purchase ten or fewer hypodermic needles or syringes without a prescription from pharmacies that are registered with the DPDP.
  • Participation in the DPDP is voluntary and those providers that choose to participate are required to:
    • Enroll with the local public health department;
    • Participate in syringe disposal programs;
    • Provide information on how to access drug treatment;
    • Provide information on how to access screening for HIV and hepatitis C; and
    • Store syringes behind the counter, out of reach of customers.
  • Authorizes, from January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2018, a person to possess ten or fewer hypodermic needles or syringes if acquired through an authorized source.
  • Creates a new crime for the improper discard or disposal of a hypodermic needle or syringe upon the grounds of a playground, beach, park, or any public or private elementary, vocation, junior high or high school. A knowing violation of this prohibition is punishable by a fine ($200-$2000), imprisonment (up to 6 months), or both.
  • Syringes that have been appropriately containerized for safe disposal are exempt from paraphernalia statutes. This is a permanent change in the law and does not expire on December 31, 2018.
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