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Room for Improvement in the New York State Pharmacy-Based Syringe Access Program

Logan, Katherine; Deutsch, Sarah

Pharmacies in New York State can opt-in to a pharmacy based syringe access program called the Expanded Syringe Access Program (ESAP). Washington Heights CORNER Project, a syringe exchange program in New York City, undertook a two-part survey of pharmacies located less than two miles from the program in Northern Manhattan. The study sought to determine whether pharmacies registered for the Expanded Syringe Access Program were a reliable source of syringes for populations who purchase syringes without a prescription, including people who inject drugs. The surveys found that 71.4% of pharmacies listed on the ESAP directory sold syringes to a Washington Heights CORNER Project participant acting as a secret shopper. A follow up survey assessed pharmacy attitudes toward the program and other harm reduction measures. In this survey, pharmacies demonstrated interest in harm reduction measures, with 92% of pharmacies reporting willingness to refer potential customers to a local syringe exchange program. The researchers make recommendations for improvement to pharmacy-based syringe access programs at the individual, community and policy level, including increasing face to face interactions between syringe exchange programs and pharmacies and requiring regular updates to the online directory of ESAP-registered pharmacies.

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Title
Columbia Medical Review

More About This Work

Academic Units
College of Physicians and Surgeons
Publisher
Columbia University
Published Here
August 25, 2015
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