On January 1, 2005, Senate Bill 1159 was signed into law. This legislation is designed to prevent the spread of HIV, hepatitis, and other blood-borne diseases among injection drug users (IDUs), public safety workers and the general public.
On September 27, 2005, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors authorized the Department of Health Services (SCDHS) to implement a local Disease Prevention Demonstration Project, allowing pharmacies to furnish or sell hypodermic needles and syringes without a prescription as permitted under State law (SB1159).
On September 15, 2014 Assembly Bill 1743 was signed into law and took effect January 1, 2015. This legislation allows pharmacies to sell an unlimited number of syringes without a prescription to adults 18 years of age or older for disease prevention purposes.
Pharmacies may choose whether or not to offer the Nonprescription sale of syringes. If they do, the pharmacy must also sell or provide consumers a household sharps container. Pharmacies must store hypodermic needles and syringes so that they are available only to authorized personnel. Individuals may bring the used syringes back to the pharmacy in the approved sharps container. A licensed medical waste hauler collects the containers regularly from the pharmacy for disposal out of county. This project allows adults access to clean syringes and provides a method for safe disposal of syringes.
It is now unlawful to discard or dispose of a hypodermic needle or syringe upon the grounds of a playground, beach, park, or any public or private elementary, vocational, junior high, or high school.
Pharmacies can provide the purchaser with written information or verbal counseling on all of the following: how to access drug treatment; how to access testing and treatment for HIV and hepatitis C; and how to safely dispose of sharps waste.