NJ Governor Christie Signs Life-Saving Legislation Allowing Over-the-Counter Syringe Sale

On Tuesday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) signed crucial legislation allowing pharmacies in New Jersey to sell a limited number of syringes without a prescription. Prior to the change, New Jersey was one of only two states (the other being Delaware) that did not allow pharmacies to sell syringes without a prescription, a policy which is championed for helping to prevent the spread of diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C.  

 “We are incredibly grateful to Governor Christie for signing this critically important legislation,” said Roseanne Scotti, New Jersey State Director for Drug Policy Alliance, “And we are grateful to all the legislators who kept fighting for it for so many years.  This legislation is a triumph for good public health policy and it will save lives.” 

According to DPA, "Although syringe access programs have existed in New Jersey since 2006, the law providing for their establishment capped the number of permissible locations at six and all of the programs have limited hours due to lack of  funding."

The legislation may be especially important, following the federal government's recent decision to reinstate a federal ben on needle exchange funding, programs which have been repeatedly proven to be incredibly effective in saving lives, as well as resources, as a form of preventative care. 

AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at January 17, 2012, 10:12am

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