Morris Auster, Esq. Division of Governmental Affairs
Senior Vice President / MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT
Chief Legislative Counsel
ON ASSEMBLY HEALTH A.313 (BICHOTTE)
IN SENATE HEALTH COMMITTEE S.2545 (HANNON)
AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to authorizing expedited partner therapy for certain sexually transmitted infections
This bill would allow for expedited partner therapy (EPT) for sexually transmitted infections when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended it for the sexual partner or partners of someone having been diagnosed with the disease. The Medical Society of the State of New York supports this measure.
Currently, the CDC has recommended the use of EPT for Chlamydia Trachomatis and in November 2012 also recommended EPT in cases of gonorrhea. In 2005, the New York State passed a law to allow health care providers to provide EPT for Chlamydia infection. This law was recently made permanent, along with immunity protections for prescribers as part of the 2013-14 NYS budget process. This bill will expand the current law to include other sexually transmitted infections that the CDC recommends for expedited partner therapy. EPT helps physicians and other health care providers decrease rates of sexually transmitted infections. While expedited partner therapy in no way replaces a face to face interaction with a health care provider, it can help patients who otherwise would not reach out for treatment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found through randomized controlled tests that EPT has the potential for the same success that it has shown with Chlamydia with other sexually transmitted infections. EPT can be highly effective in decreasing infection rates with other STIs that can be cured by taking antibiotics by mouth, such as gonorrhea.
The Medical Society of the State of New York at its 2013 House of Delegates revised its policy on Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT) to read as follows:
EXPEDITED PARTNER THERAPY IN THE MANAGEMENT OF SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS
MSSNY to -- (1) support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance on expedited partner therapy (EPT) that was published in its 2006 white paper, Expedited Partner Therapy in the Management of Sexually Transmitted Diseases;
(2) support legislation that would allow physicians diagnosing a sexually transmitted infection (STIs) in an individual to prescribe or dispense antibiotics to that person’s sex partner in instances where the CDC has recommended the use of EPT; and
(3) continue to ensure that physicians participating in the delivery of EPT are protected from liability.
The Medical Society of the State of New York supports this bill and urges that it be passed.
DIVISION OF GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS