It is designed to prevent accidental overdoses by patients who are in pain and who may not realize they are taking their pills too often.
The United States is in the midst of an unprecedented drug overdose epidemic. One that is being attributed to the ever-rising prescription misuse rates in the country. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an estimated 18 million people were found to have misused prescription opioids, CNS depressants, and stimulants at least once in 2017 with over six percent of those being of age 12 or older. While the reasons for such a high rate of prescription drug misuse vary by age, gender, and other factors, it's easy accessibility is believed to be a key player.
Do your part to prevent prescription drug misuse: keep your medicines up and away and out of sight. #SecureYourMeds until the next #DEATakeBack pic.twitter.com/tBk9mrB4yb— U.S. Department of Education (@usedgov) June 16, 2020
This is exactly what Larry Twersky, CEO of TimerCap LLC wanted to reduce when he launched TimerCap, an ingenious product that keeps track of the last time a pill bottle was opened. According to the company website, the cause is particularly close to Twersky's heart as he has personal experience with a loved one struggling with prescription abuse. "As early as I can remember, my mom was addicted to prescription medication and I saw first-hand how addiction can badly affect a family. Our company is dedicated to providing simple to use tools in order to help families monitor medication use, discourage experimentation with prescription drugs, and to detect medication abuse/misuse," he said.
Speaking to Cleveland.com about TimerCap, Twersky explained that it "counts the intervals between doses, so you don't have to." Although it is unlikely to deter someone who already has an opioid addiction, he explained that TimerCaps are designed to prevent accidental overdoses by patients who are in pain and who may not realize they are taking their pills too often. It also discourages early-stage drug abusers from stealing pills. "It is one tool to be more vigilant and have more safety," he said.
Twersky told HuffPost that the idea for the TimerCap came from a college friend who wanted to manage his father's medication better. "We initially invested in the business and after some time and a lot more money became the largest shareholder, CEO, and invested in the connected product line of the iCap. We are now in all CVS and Rite Aid locations," he said. Explaining the purpose of TimerCap's automatic stopwatch function, he said: "Counting up does not compete with doctors labeling instructions that could get complicated such as 'take every 3 hours but not to exceed 4 in 24 hours.' How is a person supposed to program that easily?"
"This also becomes a tool for parents to detect and a deterrent for children to get into prescription medication as they know it leaves evidence of usage. This is also perfect for people taking opioids or cannabis to know when it is safe to operate a motor vehicle or long enough to take another dose," Twersky added. The TimerCap is available in five different variants on the company's website: Standard Bottle Kit, Wide Mouth Kit, Large Bottle Kit, Travel Kit, and QUIT Smoking Kit. The standard, large, and travel sizes come with replaceable batteries and packs of 4.
The products have an incredibly high rating of 4.2 on Amazon with several customers vouching for its efficiency. "I really like this product. Not only is it simple, but it is also nearly impossible to use it wrong. I purchased this product because I often 'forget' my medication-meaning that I don't remember if I took it or not, so I skip the dose rather than accidentally double dosing. It works well for me for that reason, as I will generally remember to take my meds around the right time, I just need verification I haven't taken it yet. However, I'm writing this review because this product saved my bacon last night! I almost accidentally took my meds twice but was alerted to that fact by the 2:06 on the bottle top. While it wouldn't be life-threatening if I did take an extra dose, I may have experienced side effects," reads one customer review.