More pharmacists in high-risk neighborhoods of New York City support selling syringes to injection drug users.

Phillip O. Coffin, Jennifer Ahern, Stacy Dorris, Lori Stevenson, Crystal Fuller, David Vlahov

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVE: To document changes in pharmacists' opinions and practices from the time of passage to implementation of a law permitting selling syringes without a prescription (the Expanded Syringe Access Demonstration Program [ESAP]). DESIGN: Two cross-sectional randomized telephone surveys. SETTING: High-risk neighborhoods of New York City. SUBJECTS: Pharmacists. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Support for selling syringes without a prescription to injection drug users (IDUs). RESULTS: We completed 130 surveys at baseline (BL) in August 2000, from neighborhoods with high numbers of injection-related acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) cases and 231 surveys at law change (LC) in January 2001. To correct for differences in sampling, we limited the analysis to pharmacies in ZIP Codes represented in both samples and weighted results to adjust for the median income level of those postal codes. From BL (n = 83) to LC (n = 84), law awareness increased (43% to 90%, P < .001), as did personal support for selling syringes without a prescription to IDUs (36% to 63%, P < .001). From BL to LC, a larger proportion of supporters believed that selling syringes was an important part of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention and would help decrease HIV transmission, and a smaller proportion was concerned about customer discomfort and increased drug use. A total of 40% of respondents were ESAP registered at LC but registration was not associated with support for selling syringes to IDUs. CONCLUSIONS: Support for ESAP among pharmacists increased in high-risk neighborhoods as the program was implemented. The finding that some pharmacists were ESAP registered but did not support selling syringes to IDUs and others were supportive, but not ESAP registered, may have program implications.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)S62-67
    JournalJournal of the American Pharmaceutical Association (Washington,D.C. : 1996)
    Volume42
    Issue number6 Suppl 2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2002

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pharmaceutical Science

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