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Media Advisory

Contra Costa Implements New State Law, Allows Pharmacists to Sell Syringes Without Prescription

December 30, 2004


Information for Contra Costa pharmacists on changes to the law that affect dispensing syringes without prescription


The Contra Costa Board of Supervisors passed a policy that authorizes pharmacists to sell up to 10 syringes without a prescription, to conform with Senate Bill 1159 signed by Governor Schwarzenegger

The county policy and state law are aimed at reducing the spread of blood-borne pathogens, including HIV and hepatitis C, which can be passed from person to person by using contaminated needles


The policy covers all pharmacists in cities and unincorporated areas of the county, provided the pharmacy is registered with the Disease Prevention Demonstration Project of Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS)


To participate in this project, a Contra Costa pharmacy must:

  • Register with Contra Costa Health Services
  • Certify that written information or verbal counseling will be provided at the time of the syringe sale on the following:
    • How to access drug treatment
    • How to access testing and treatment for HIV and Hepatitis C
    • How to safely dispose of sharps (used needles) waste
  • Store needles and syringes so they are not openly available to customers
  • Provide on-site, furnish or make available for purchase personal or mail-back sharps disposal containers that meet applicable federal and state standards

For more information or to register and obtain a packet of relevant counseling and referral information, contact the CCHS AIDS Program at 925-313-6771

The Contra Costa Health Services website also contains a wealth of information about the policy and safe needle storage and disposal

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Press Contact
  • Christine Leivermann
  • 925-313-6786