NICE endorses use of needle exchange scheme to minimise infection risk

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 23 February 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b771
  1. Andrew Cole
  1. 1London

    New guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), to be published next week, endorses the use of the needle and syringe exchange scheme and could pave the way for its expansion.

    The programmes have been operating in the United Kingdom for the last 20 years with most run by pharmacies and other drug services. They offer sterile injecting equipment to people who inject illicit drugs as well as advice on safer injecting techniques and appropriate disposal.

    Around 200 000 people in England and Wales are estimated to inject illegal opiates and stimulants, said Professor Mike Kelly, director …

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