Sentinel Surveillance for Expedited Partner Therapy Prescriptions Using Pharmacy Data, in 2 New York City Neighborhoods, 2015

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Abstract

Background

Expedited partner therapy (EPT) for Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) is the practice of providing Ct-infected patients with medication, or prescription (prescription-EPT) to deliver to their sex partners without first examining those partners. New York City (NYC) providers commonly use prescription-EPT, yet NYC pharmacists report only occasional receipt of EPT prescriptions. This project assessed the frequency of EPT prescriptions filled in 2 NYC neighborhoods.

Methods

The 2 NYC facilities reporting the most frequent use of prescription-EPT were identified from Ct provider case reports and contacted to ascertain their EPT practices. Providers at the first facility (facility 1) prescribed two 1-g doses of azithromycin, including sex partner treatment on the index patient's electronic prescription. Providers at the second facility (facility 2) gave patients paper prescriptions for sex partners. We reviewed prescriptions filled in 2015 for azithromycin, 1 or 2 g at pharmacies near these facilities; prescriptions indicating partner therapy were classified “EPT prescriptions”.

Results

Facility 1 providers submitted 112 Ct case reports indicating prescription-EPT, compared with 114 submitted by facility 2 providers. Twelve of 26 identified pharmacies agreed to participate. At 7 pharmacies near facility 1, we found 61 EPT prescriptions from facility 1 and 37 from other facilities. At 5 pharmacies near facility 2, we found only 1 EPT prescription from facility 2 and 3 from other facilities.

Conclusions

Expedited partner therapy prescriptions were received in NYC pharmacies near to EPT-prescribing facilities, but with great variability and at a lower frequency than suggested by provider case reports. Provider EPT prescribing practices may impact the likelihood that partners receive medication and should be further evaluated.

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