Timercaps aim to fight prescription drug abuse, forgetfulness - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Timercaps aim to fight prescription drug abuse, forgetfulness

Timercaps for prescription drug bottles. Track when the bottle was last opened. Timercaps for prescription drug bottles. Track when the bottle was last opened.

It’s no secret that prescription pills can be dangerous; the nation is currently in an opioid epidemic, which is affecting East Texas as well. Longview is one of the top 25 cities for opioid abuse in the country.

“Opioids are being prescribed at very high rates, and so patients have a lot of access to them; they're using them, and in cases, abusing them a lot,” says Brittany Parmentier, a Clinical Health Professor at UT Tyler. 

According to Nic Garner, a local CVS pharmacist, misuse is also a problem. He says that a lot of the time people forget if and when they last took their medication.

However, Timercaps, a new product hitting pharmacy shelves, may serve as a solution.

“The adherence caps work just like the regular caps. They go on the bottles and they start a timer when they go on; this will tell you how long it’s been since you last opened the bottle of medication,” says Garner.

Paramentier believes they’re a step in the right direction.

"I see it as increasing medication adherence for patients," says Paramentier. "If they have problems remembering when they took their medication or if they took they’re medication, they can look at the timer on the cap and see it says 'oh I opened it 30 minutes ago so I did take my medication.'"

The Timercap can also serve to track if anyone else is opening prescriptions and attempting to steal drugs that were not prescribed to them.

"This one I put on an hour ago and it’s showing that it’s been sitting there for an hour; if I know that I opened it an hour ago and someone tried to mess with it beyond then, I would know that they opened the bottle," says Garner.

With the amount of prescriptions being filled daily, the Timercap CEO believes current packaging needs an upgrade.

"In 1970 the child resistant cap came about and we haven’t seen any changes since 1970 in prescription packaging for pills even though 6-26 are the age range of people wanting to abuse opioids," says Larry Twersky, Timercap CEO. "So we here find the packaging and the information to be not adequate."

Twersky is pushing the FDA to mandate that timer caps be distributed with all prescriptions. Currently there is no plan for the caps to be mandated but they can be purchased separately at most pharmacies.

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