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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 29, 2019 04:17 PM
From: Senator Patrick M. Browne and Sen. Lisa Baker, Sen. Judith L. Schwank, Sen. Anthony H. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: Expedited Partner Therapy Legislation
In the near future, Senator Baker, Senator Schwank, Senator Williams and I will be re-introducing Senate Bill 1114, that provides for the authority to prescribe or personally furnish antibiotics to treat sexually transmitted infections, without having examined the individual for whom the drug is intended, in accordance with the Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT) in the Management of Sexually Transmitted Diseases guidance document issued by the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC), under certain conditions.

Co-sponsors of the legislation last session include Senators Tomlinson, Hughes, Costa, Blake, Brewster and Farnese.

Sexually transmitted infections are a serious public health concern. According to the CDC, the United States is experiencing steep, sustained increases in sexually transmitted infections. Rates of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia have climbed for the fourth consecutive year. STIs caused by bacteria can be treated and often cured with antibiotics, yet most cases go untreated or undiagnosed. Reinfection or lack of treatment can cause serious health problems including pelvic inflammatory disease, chronic pelvic pain, infertility and potentially life-threatening ectopic pregnancies. STIs also place a significant economic strain on the healthcare system. The CDC conservatively estimates that the lifetime cost of treating eight of the most common sexually transmitted infections contracted in just one year is $15.6 billion. Because these infections are preventable, significant reductions in new infections are not only possible, they are urgently needed.

The CDC recommends EPT be available to clinicians as a useful option for partner treatment to reduce the risk of reinfection and prevent further spread of the infection. EPT is permissible in 42 states with more than 30 states enacting laws to expressly authorize EPT. This includes the surrounding states of Ohio, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, New York and the District of Columbia.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as SB606