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Expedited Partner Therapies

February 18, 2022
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WRITTEN BY Dr. Ramon Martinez III

Executive Summary 

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) affect millions of people in the U.S. and, while effective treatments exist for the majority of infections, barriers remain to access and effective administration of these treatments. Expedited Partner Therapies (EPT) are a process by which medications are distributed to the partners of infected patients without the prior examination of a doctor. EPT is legal in Missouri (RSMo 191.648) for the treatment of partners of chlamydia and gonorrhea patients. Five states and Washington, D.C. have laws that expressly permit the use of EPT for trichomoniasis, a parasitic infection that can cause serious adverse effects in young women, including complications during pregnancy. House Bill 2386 seeks to expand the list of EPT-treatable diseases in Missouri to include trichomoniasis.  

Highlights 

  • Trichomoniasis infects roughly 6 million people in the U.S. each year and can lead to persistent re-infections and birthing complications. 
  • EPT has been shown to be effective in lowering overall healthcare costs and improving the treatment and infection rates in other STIs. 
  • Familiarity with EPT law by pharmacists, high out-of-pocket costs, and patient preferences may be barriers to EPT implementation.

Limitations 

  • Most studies on EPT focus on chlamydia and gonorrhea, so it is unclear if the results of those studies also apply to trichomoniasis.
  • Studies of EPT implementation and efficacy largely focus on re-infection. However, other outcomes, such as successful partner medication uptake or community-level rates of reported STIs, may also be important.
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