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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: October 24, 2019 03:38 PM
From: Representative Thomas L. Mehaffie, III and Rep. Michael H. Schlossberg
To: All House members
Subject: Expedited Partner Therapy

In the near future, we will be introducing legislation to authorize Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT) in Pennsylvania.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for the fifth consecutive year reported cases of sexually transmitted infections are on the rise and a serious public health concern. Bacterial STIs can be treated and often cured with antibiotics, yet most cases go untreated or undiagnosed. The CDC recommends Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT) be available to all clinicians as a useful option for treatable STIs, like chlamydia and gonorrhea, to reduce the risk of reinfection and curtail the spread of infection.

EPT is the practice of treating a patient and also providing a prescription for their partner in the absence of medical evaluation. Preventing partner reinfection especially benefits women, in whom chlamydia and gonorrhea infections often are asymptomatic yet can cause serious health problems, including infertility and potentially life-threatening ectopic pregnancies. Pregnant women and newborns are particularly vulnerable.

Studies have shown that patients whose partners received EPT were 29% less likely to be reinfected than those who simply told their partners to visit the doctor.

Pennsylvania should join the majority of states that have enacted laws to provide clinicians with this option in accordance with CDC recommendations. This includes the surrounding states of Ohio, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, New York and the District of Columbia. The proposed legislation is based off the Ohio and Delaware statutes.

Among the organizations that support EPT are: PA Medical Society, PA Section of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, PA Chapter of the American College of Nurse Midwives, PA College of Emergency Physicians, PA Pharmacists Association, Value Drug Company, Philadelphia Associations of Retail Druggists, American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Osteopathic Association, American College of Nurse Midwives, and American Bar Association.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB2229