January 13, 2004
Spreading the Word
Mike Patton, executive director of the Illinois Pharmacists Association, said that more pharmacists might offer over-the-counter needles once they have the required educational materials. "It's impossible for a pharmacy to comply with the law when the literature isn't even there," he said. Health department spokesperson Tom Schafer said that the delay in distributing the materials is not hindering AIDS prevention efforts. "The fact that (drug users) actually show up at a pharmacy actually requesting clean needles underscores the fact that they already know how important it is to have clean needles to protect their health," Schafer added. Karen Reitan, director of state affairs for AFC, said that drug users are starting to spread the word that clean needles are available in some pharmacies. Schafer said that it will take at least another year to determine whether the number of HIV/AIDS cases related to injection drug use have decreased. Although opponents of the law said that over-the-counter needle sales would increase the number of discarded needles found in public places, the Chicago Department of Public Health has not seen an increase in complaints related to discarded needles, according to the Post-Dispatch (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1/10).
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2004 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.
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