Legal Status of EPT in California
EPT is permissible.
|I. Statutes/regs on health care providers’ authority to prescribe for STDs to a patient’s partner(s) w/out prior evaluation (Explanation)|| “Notwithstanding any other law, a physician and surgeon who diagnoses a sexually transmitted chlamydia, gonorrhea, or other sexually transmitted infection, as determined by the department, or recommended in the most recent federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for the prevention or treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, in an individual patient may prescribe, dispense, furnish, or otherwise provide, including in a standing order, prescription antibiotic drugs to that patient’s sexual partner or partners without examination of that patient’s partner or partners. This practice shall be known as expedited partner therapy (EPT). The department may adopt regulations to implement this section.” Cal. Health & Safety Code § 120582(a). See also: Cal. Health & Safety Code § 120582(b) (nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, and physician assistants). (effective 1/1/2022)
“A health care provider shall not be liable in a medical malpractice action or professional disciplinary action if the health care provider’s use of EPT is in compliance with this section, except in cases of intentional misconduct, gross negligence, or wanton or reckless activity.” Cal. Health & Safety Code § 120582.
|II. Specific judicial decisions concerning EPT (or like practices) (Explanation)||Suspension of physician’s license upheld because the Board conclusively established (among other charges) that physician prescribed to persons who were not his patients. Leslie v. Bd. of Medical Quality Assurance, 234 Cal. App. 3d 117*|
|III. Specific administrative opinions by the Attorney General or medical or pharmacy boards concerning EPT (or like practices) (Explanation)|
|IV. Laws that incorporate via reference guidelines as acceptable practices (including EPT) (Explanation)|
|V. Prescription requirements (Explanation)||“Notwithstanding subdivision (a) or any other law, a pharmacist may dispense a drug prescribed pursuant to Section 120582 of the Health and Safety Code and label the drug without the name of an individual for whom the drug is intended if the prescription includes the words ‘expedited partner therapy’ or the letters ‘EPT.’” Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 4076.|
|VI. Assessment of EPT’s legal status with brief comments (Explanation)|| EPT is permissible.
Statutory authority expressly authorizes EPT for the treatment of chlamydia and gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted infections as determined by the State Department of Health Services.
*This legal authority predates the effective date of the state’s law that authorizes EPT.
Status as of January 1, 2022
supports the use of EPT
negatively affects the use of EPT
EPT is permissible
EPT is potentially allowable
EPT is prohibited
|EPT is permissible in 46 states:||EPT is potentially allowable in 4 states:||EPT is prohibited in 0 states:|
EPT is permissible in the District of Columbia.
EPT is permissible in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
EPT is potentially allowable in Puerto Rico and Guam.
The information presented here is not legal advice, nor is it a comprehensive analysis of all the legal provisions that could implicate the legality of EPT in a given jurisdiction. The data and assessment are intended to be used as a tool to assist state and local health departments as they determine locally appropriate ways to control STDs.
For comments, feedback and updates, please contact CDC-INFO: https://www.cdc.gov/cdc-info/.