A multistate trial of pharmacy syringe purchase

Wilson M. Compton, Joe C. Horton, Linda B. Cottler, Robert Booth, Carl G. Leukefeld, Merrill Singer, Renee Cunningham-Williams, Wendy Reich, Karen Fortuin Corsi, Michele Staton, Joseph L. Fink, Thomas J. Stopka, Edward L. Spitznagel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Pharmacies are a potential site for access to sterile syringes as a means for preventing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but the type and extent of their utility is uncertain. To examine pharmacy syringe purchase, we conducted a standardized, multistate study in urban and rural areas of four states in which attempts to purchase syringes were documented. Of 1,600 overall purchase attempts, 35% were refused. Colorado (25%) and Connecticut (28%) had significantly lower rates of refusal than Kentucky (41%) and Missouri (47%). Furthermore, urban settings had higher rates of refusal (40%) than rural settings (31%, P <.01). Race and gender did not have a consistent impact on rates of refusal. Despite potential advantages of pharmacies as sites for access to sterile syringes, pharmacy purchase of syringes faces significant obstacles in terms of the practices in different jurisdictions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)661-670
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Urban Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by National Institute on Drug Abuse grants DA12340 (Compton, PI), DA00488 (Compton, PI), and DA05786 (Horton, PI). Collaborators in the multisite trial included R. Booth, PI, and K. Fortuin, project manager, in Colorado; M. Singer, PI, and T. Stopka, project manager, in Connecticut; C. Leukefeld, PI, J. Fink, coinvestigator, and M. Staton-Tindall, project manager, in Kentucky; and W. Compton, PI, L. Cottler, coinvestigator, R. Cunningham-Williams, coinvestigator, W. Reich, coinvestigator, E. Spitznagel, statistician, and J. Horton, project manager, in Missouri.


  • HIV/AIDS prevention
  • Infection drug use
  • Pharmacies
  • Syringe purchase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Urban Studies
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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