A new report - Access to Sterile Syringes and Public Health Costs in New Jersey: Suggestions for Public Policy - embargoed until Tuesday, November 18 at 12:01 AM - will be released as the New Jersey legislature returns to session. The report is expected to add to the growing support for Assembly Bill 3645 which would allow for increased access to sterile syringes to prevent the spread of HIV, hepatitis C, and other blood-borne diseases. The legislation would allow for pharmacy sales of syringes without a prescription, and allow municipalities and public health providers to incorporate syringe exchange services into their HIV prevention programs. Recently the Camden, Jersey City, and Newark city councils unanimously passed resolutions supporting the legislation, and a coalition of organizations including the Medical Society of New Jersey, the New Jersey State Nurses Association, several pharmacy groups, the Black Minister Council, the Drug Policy Alliance, and Hyacinth AIDS Foundation have formed a coalition called the Campaign for a Healthier New Jersey, to support the legislation.
The report - researched and written by Donald M. Scarry, chief economist with New Jersey Economics, and commissioned by the New Jersey Drug Policy Project-Drug Policy Alliance - is the first in-depth look at how New Jersey's syringe access policies are not only leading to some of the highest HIV and hepatitis C infection rates in the nation, but costing New Jersey taxpayers millions of dollars in avoidable medical costs.
ATTENTION JOURNALISTS: For a complete copy of the report please contact either Tony Newman at 212-613-8026 or Shayna Samuels at 212-613-8037.
ATTENTION TELEVISION JOURNALISTS: B-Roll Available