A means to reduce addiction to pain medication.
The abuse of pain medication is an unfortunate consequence of the development of pharmaceuticals to address pain management and has become more common over the past few decades. This new medical technology company focuses on reducing patient addiction to prescription drugs via a pill dispensing device and monitoring system. The unique design controls pill distribution and monitors patient intake for easy translation to healthcare workers. As a result, healthcare costs are reduced and the constant involvement of the healthcare provider is unnecessary.
Every day in the United States, 2,500 youth (12 to 17) abuse a prescription pain reliever for the first time, and more than 15 million people in total are abusing prescription drugs. This is more than the combined number of people who reported abusing cocaine, hallucinogens, inhalants and heroin. Of the 1.4 million drug-related emergency room admissions in 2005, 598,542 were associated with abuse of pharmaceuticals alone or with other drugs. Prescription drug abuse causes the largest percentage of deaths from drug overdosing. Of the 22,400 drug overdose deaths in the US in 2005, opioid painkillers were the most commonly found drug, accounting for 38.2% of these deaths.
This company has developed a pill dispensing device, and monitoring system that prevents improper exposure and/or abuse of prescription drugs. The foundation of their system is a tamper-resistant, flow-controlled device that holds patient medication in unit-dose blister packets. The device can’t be easily opened, preventing accidental exposure and abuse. In addition the patients are easily monitored by their physicians during the entire regiment of their medication. An online portal with treatment data in the cloud is the central point of contact for patients, physicians, and pharmacists using this company’s system. With a controlled system of physician oversight, patients are much safer and the medicine prescribed can be optimally effective.
The company has funding to date primarily via NIH grants and a Series A round which includes advisory board members.
Noting the aforementioned statistics, it is clear that something needs to be done to keep patients and their families safe from the possibility of falling prey to experimentation, addiction or overdose of prescription medication. Though there are numerous lockable and tamper-proof pill dispensers on the market currently, none match up to the expertise and ease of this company’s system. Their technology ensures that drugs are not only taken as prescribed, but that they are as safe and effective as possible, specifically due to the fact that a physician is able to monitor patients through the available cloud system. Realistically any tamper proof system (unless made of steel) can be broken, and drugs extracted, however patient oversight by a physician can change the fate of potential abusers and save numerous lives.
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