Nonprescription Syringe Sales through
Syringe Sales Program)
On October 2011, Governor Edmund Brown, signed into
law Senate Bill 41 (SB41) as part of a statewide effort
to reduce the spread of HIV, hepatitis C, and other
bloodborne pathogens. The new law expands legal access
to hypodermic and syringes in order to reduce the
sharing of contaminated injection equipment. Beginning
January 1, 2012, the new law authorizes physicians and
pharmacists to provide or sell up to 30 syringes without
a prescription. Similarly, SB41 also allows adults over
18 years of age to purchase and possess upto 30 syringes
for personal use without prescription provided that they
came from an authorized source. The new law
replaces a previous pilot program under Senate Bill 1159
that allowed registered pharmacists to sell up to 10
syringes without a prescription.
WHAT THE LAW SAYS:
- Allows licensed physicians, pharmacists, and syringe
exchange programs in California to furnish or sell
30 or fewer
hypodermic needles and syringes to adult 18 years of age or older.
- Allows persons 18 years old or older to purchase and
possess up to 30 hypodermic needles or syringes without
a prescription from an authorized source.
- Authorized sources for needles includes: physicians,
pharmacists, and syringe exchange programs.
- In order
to sell up to 30 syringes without a prescription,
pharmacists and programs must comply with the
- Store needles and syringes in a manner that
ensures that they are not accessible to
- Provide for the safe disposal of needles and
syringes through one or more of the following
- An onsite sharps collection and disposal
- Furnish or make available, mail-back
sharps container swith tracking to verify
- Furnish or make available, sharps
- Provide customers with written or verbal information on how to:
- Access drug treatment;
- Access testing and treatment for HIV and
- Safely dispose of sharps waste.
- Unless subsequent legislations are enacted, the
Nonprescription Syringe Sales program under Senate
Bill 41 will expire at the end of 2015.