Timer cap, lock box help curb drug overuse

Published: Jan. 26, 2017 at 5:01 PM CST
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As opioid overuse increases across the state and the country, pharmacies and manufacturers are working to curb that trend. Now a new and simple technology offers a way to reduce the misuse with a medication timer cap.

“It's a good reminder for compliance purposes, so it helps with patients being able to take their medication on time,” says Walgreens Pharmacist Jason Lau.

“It's going to provide safety for patients so the correct patient is taking the correct medication, so someone else isn't getting access to the medication,” says Lau.

But Lau says it has an even greater purpose, “It's important for especially opioid prescriptions, pain medications or honestly any type of medication... It does prevent others from getting access to that and some of them do even have a lock at the top. You have to press in a code before you even get into it. It's great for patient safety.”

You can find most pill cap timers at your local pharmacy or drugstore. The best part, they're under $10.

“Nearly 20% of youth say prescription drugs are easy to get their hands on, so we really feel like it's an area that we really think it's an area where we need to spend our efforts,” says Community Health Educator Carleigh Olson.

According to Olson the Eau Claire City County Health Department was recently awarded a $50,000 grant to help fight drug overuse.

“One of the efforts in the grant is to use lock boxes so we're going to be working with a lot of our community partners on getting those lock boxes out, particularly to people who have a lot of prescriptions on hand,” says Olson.

So whether it's a box or a cap, community leaders are urging the public to lock up.