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Alternative Approaches to Partner Notification, Diagnosis, and Treatment: Pharmacists’ Perspectives on Proposed Patient Delivered Partner Therapy in New York State, 2007

McNutt, Louise-Anne PHD*; Davis, Christopher F. MPH*; Bednarczyk, Robert A. MS*; Fischer, Andrea MPH*; Zeolla, Mario PharmD; Coles, Bruce F. DO*‡

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: March 2009 - Volume 36 - Issue 3 - p 178-184
doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e31818eb73c

Background: Supported by the American Medical Association, patient delivered partner therapy (PDPT) is becoming legal in many states. For some individuals exposed to sexually transmitted infections, the pharmacist may become the sole point of contact with the medical system.

Methods: To determine pharmacists’ perceptions about PDPT, education on sexually transmitted infections, and potential barriers that need to be addressed in pharmacies for successful implementation of PDPT, we conducted a survey of pharmacists and observed privacy-related spaces in pharmacies. In 8 counties of the Capital Region, all community pharmacies were invited to participate. In 8 additional counties convenience sampling was utilized. The response proportion was 67.3% overall.

Results: Of the 193 pharmacists responding to the survey, 63% supported PDPT for Chlamydia and 78% do not want a behind-the-counter status for Chlamydia antibiotics. The majority (88%) of pharmacists want prescriptions marked as PDPT to alert them to counseling needs. About half the pharmacists reported they would automatically submit PDPT prescriptions to insurance company, a confidentiality issue. The barrier cited most often to patient counseling was time (49%).

Conclusions: Pharmacists are open to considering PDPT as part of their professional functions. Although pharmacists need additional sexually transmitted infections education in general, capacity for this training can be developed. Confidentiality issues remain a priority issue to address to protect individuals treated through PDPT.

Surveys of New York State Pharmacists find that 63% support use of patient delivered partner therapy, and 78% do not want a behind the counter status for Chlamydia antibiotics.

From the *Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University at Albany, School of Public Health, One University Place, Rensselaer; the †Department of Pharmacy Practice, Albany College of Pharmacy; and the ‡New York State Department of Health, Bureau of STD Control, Albany, New York

This study was supported by grant funding from the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Sexually Transmitted Disease Control.

Correspondence: Louise-Anne McNutt, PhD, Associate Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University at Albany, School of Public Health, One University Place, GEC 125, Rensselaer, NY 12144. E-mail:

Received for publication July 9, 2008, and accepted September 19, 2008.

© Copyright 2009 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association