Pill dispenser with lock, timer could prevent opiate addiction

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A design company in Sarasota believes its new creation can help stop opiate addiction before it starts. Robrady Design is working to get its PILL dispenser on the market so it can hopefully save lives.

Colin Leonard is one of the designers working on the smart packaging that tracks the usage of the medications it contains.

"It's very simple and cost-effective," Leonard explained. "We believe we can stop the addiction before it gets started."

The dispenser is equipped with a microprocessor, which locks and starts a countdown each time a dose of medication is dispensed.

Once the countdown has finished, PILL will unlock and allow the next dosage to come out.

"People say, 'Well I can break this thing, open [it] with a hammer," Leonard pointed out. "It's going to be evident when that happens...It shows up on the radar that there's a potential problem of abuse."

The data from the device is stored for pharmacists and doctors to examine.

"With this device coming back, it can provide a wealth of data that can lead to better treatment," he said.

With an estimated 42,000 fatal overdoses in the U.S. in 2016, Robbrady Design CEO Rob Brady believes the invention can be a game changer.

"We're not reinventing the opioid or the drug or its regiment. We are just doing smart packaging," he said.

PILL must be approved by the FDA before can appear on pharmacy shelves.

"What we are looking to is trying to save the lives, at the end of the day, with something that is just smart," said Brady.