The legal status of patient-delivered partner therapy for sexually transmitted infections in the United States: a national survey of state medical and pharmacy boards

Sex Transm Dis. 2005 Feb;32(2):112-4. doi: 10.1097/01.olq.0000152823.10388.99.


Objectives: The objective of this study was to define the legal status of patient-delivered partner therapy (PDPT) in the United States.

Study: A survey of directors of state boards of pharmacy and medicine in the 50 United States and the District of Columbia was performed.

Results: Completed surveys were returned by 37 (72%) pharmacy boards and 37 (72%) medical boards representing 47 states. PDPT was clearly defined as legal in four states. PDPT was regarded as illegal by 16 (43%) medical boards and 19 (51%) pharmacy boards and as of uncertain legality by 16 (43%) medical boards and 14 (38%) pharmacy boards. Most boards (88%) that regarded PDPT as illegal or of uncertain legality indicated that the issue had never been addressed.

Conclusions: The legal status of PDPT is uncertain in much of the U.S., and the practice is often considered illegal. New laws or legal rulings will be needed if PDPT is to be widely promoted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Utilization / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Drug Utilization / standards
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Legislation, Medical
  • Legislation, Pharmacy
  • Patient Compliance
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / standards
  • Sexual Partners*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Specialty Boards
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Anti-Infective Agents