New York Consolidated Laws, Public Health Law - PBH § 3381. Sale and possession of hypodermic syringes and hypodermic needles

1. It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or furnish to another person or persons, a hypodermic syringe or hypodermic needle except:

(a) pursuant to a prescription of a practitioner, which for the purposes of this section shall include a patient specific prescription form as provided for in the education law;  or

(b) to persons who have been authorized by the commissioner to obtain and possess such instruments;  or

(c) by a pharmacy licensed under article one hundred thirty-seven of the education law, health care facility licensed under article twenty-eight of this chapter or a health care practitioner who is otherwise authorized to prescribe the use of hypodermic needles or syringes within his or her scope of practice;  provided, however, that such sale or furnishing:  (i) shall only be to a person eighteen years of age or older;  (ii) shall be limited to a quantity of ten or less hypodermic needles or syringes;  and (iii) shall be in accordance with subdivision five of this section.

2. It shall be unlawful for any person to obtain or possess a hypodermic syringe or hypodermic needle unless such possession has been authorized by the commissioner or is pursuant to a prescription, or is pursuant to subdivision five of this section.

3. Any person selling or furnishing a hypodermic syringe or hypodermic needle pursuant to a prescription shall record upon the prescription, his or her signature or electronic signature, and the date of the sale or furnishing of the hypodermic syringe or hypodermic needle.  Such prescription shall be retained on file for a period of five years and be readily accessible for inspection by any public officer or employee engaged in the enforcement of this section.  Such prescription may be refilled not more than the number of times specifically authorized by the prescriber upon the prescription, provided however no such authorization shall be effective for a period greater than two years from the date the prescription is signed.

4. The commissioner shall, subject to subdivision five of this section, designate persons, or by regulation, classes of persons who may obtain hypodermic syringes and hypodermic needles without prescription and the manner in which such transactions may take place and the records thereof which shall be maintained.

5. (a) A person eighteen years of age or older may obtain and possess a hypodermic syringe or hypodermic needle pursuant to paragraph (c) of subdivision one of this section.

(b) Subject to regulations of the commissioner, a pharmacy licensed under article one hundred thirty-seven of the education law, a health care facility licensed under article twenty-eight of this chapter or a health care practitioner who is otherwise authorized to prescribe the use of hypodermic needles or syringes within his or her scope of practice, may obtain and possess hypodermic needles or syringes for the purpose of selling or furnishing them pursuant to paragraph (c) of subdivision one of this section or for the purpose of disposing of them, provided that such pharmacy, health care facility or health care practitioner has registered with the department.

(c) Sale or furnishing of hypodermic syringes or hypodermic needles to direct consumers pursuant to this subdivision by a pharmacy, health care facility, or health care practitioner shall be accompanied by a safety insert.  Such safety insert shall be developed or approved by the commissioner and shall include, but not be limited to, (i) information on the proper use of hypodermic syringes and hypodermic needles;  (ii) the risk of blood borne diseases that may result from the use of hypodermic syringes and hypodermic needles;  (iii) methods for preventing the transmission or contraction of blood borne diseases;  (iv) proper hypodermic syringe and hypodermic needle disposal practices;  (v) information on the dangers of injection drug use, and how to access drug treatment;  (vi) a toll-free phone number for information on the human immunodeficiency virus;  and (vii) information on the safe disposal of hypodermic syringes and hypodermic needles including the relevant provisions of the environmental conservation law relating to the unlawful release of regulated medical waste.  The safety insert shall be attached to or included in the hypodermic syringe and hypodermic needle packaging, or shall be given to the purchaser at the point of sale or furnishing in brochure form.

(d) In addition to the requirements of paragraph (c) of subdivision one of this section, a pharmacy licensed under article one hundred thirty-seven of the education law may sell or furnish hypodermic needles or syringes only if such pharmacy:  (i) does not advertise to the public the availability for retail sale or furnishing of hypodermic needles or syringes without a prescription;  and (ii) at any location where hypodermic needles or syringes are kept for retail sale or furnishing, stores such needles and syringes in a manner that makes them available only to authorized personnel and not openly available to customers.

(e) A pharmacy registered under article one hundred thirty-seven of the education law may offer counseling and referral services to customers purchasing hypodermic syringes for the purpose of:  preventing injection drug abuse;  the provision of drug treatment;  preventing and treating hepatitis C;  preventing drug overdose;  testing for the human immunodeficiency virus;  and providing pre-exposure prophylaxis and non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis.  The content of such counseling and referral shall be at the professional discretion of the pharmacist.

(f) The commissioner shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this subdivision which shall include a requirement that such pharmacies, health care facilities and health care practitioners cooperate in a safe disposal of used hypodermic needles or syringes.

(g) The commissioner may, upon the finding of a violation of this section, suspend for a determinate period of time the sale or furnishing of syringes by a specific entity.

6. The provisions of this section shall not apply to farmers engaged in livestock production or to those persons supplying farmers engaged in livestock production, provided that:

(a) Hypodermic syringes and needles shall be stored in a secure, locked storage container.

(b) At any time the department may request a document outlining:

(i) the number of hypodermic needles and syringes purchased over the past calendar year;

(ii) a record of all hypodermic needles used over the past calendar year;  and

(iii) a record of all hypodermic needles and syringes destroyed over the past calendar year.

(c) Hypodermic needles and syringes shall be destroyed in a manner consistent with the provisions set forth in section thirty-three hundred eighty-one-a of this article.


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