SECTION 1. Chapter 94C of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 7A the following section:-
Section 7B. No hypodermic needle for the administration of controlled substances by injection shall be provided by a needle exchange program to an individual for such purpose, unless the needle is affixed to a non-reusable hypodermic syringe and has an automatic protective device, which may include retractable needle technology, to reduce injury to others from an exposed hypodermic needle that was disposed of improperly.
A needle exchange program shall comply with any prescribed standards and regulations for needle safety to be issued by the department, which may include reasonable exceptions and enforcement provisions as the commissioner shall determine.
Notwithstanding, the prohibitions of this act shall not apply to the transfer of hypodermic needles to any public health official, licensed medical professional or pharmacist, and to any qualified individual involved with the disposal of used or contaminated hypodermic needles that are collected by a needle exchange program.
For the purposes of this section, the term “needle exchange program” shall mean any public or private program for participating individuals to exchange, access or obtain, at no monetary cost, sterile hypodermic needles for their administration of controlled substances by injection, but shall not include pharmacists or wholesale druggists that sell hypodermic needles and hypodermic syringes to individuals pursuant to section 27 of chapter 94C.
SECTION 2. The commissioner of public health shall adopt needle safety standards and emergency regulations necessary to implement section 1 to preserve the public health, within 4 months from the passage of this act; and within 3 months from adopting said regulations, the commissioner shall complete the administrative process to adopt permanent regulations with any necessary changes.
SECTION 3. Section 1 shall take effect in 6 months from the passage of this act.
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