By: Mark Anderson Sacramento Business Journal
Illinois passed a law Thursday urging the use of locking devices on painkiller prescriptions, which should be a boon to the Sacramento-based makers of a pill bottle locking cap.
Illinois House Bill 3219 was signed into law Thursday by the state’s governor. The new law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, launches a one-year pilot program with participating pharmacies across the state. The law identifies “numerical locking devices” be used for all opioid pharmaceutical prescription bottles.
The Centers for Disease Control released research at the end of last year showing deaths from opioid drug poisoning have nearly tripled from 1999 to 41,502. Opioids include prescription drugs such as morphine, oxycodone and methadone, as well has heroin.
Safer Lock fits the description of the Illinois law, said Nathan Langley, co-founder and vice president of business development with Gatekeeper. He anticipates other companies may try to create similar solutions. Other existing products include four-digit locks, but they are larger containers, and not the actual pill bottle.
“Absolutely, we expect a lot more use of Safer Lock because of this,” said Langley.
The Safer Lock can’t keep people from cutting through the plastic to get to the medication, but it will signal that there is a problem with pills going missing in the house. The product is carried by many supermarkets and some pharmaceutical companies.
Gatekeeper Innovation in the spring closed a funding round from the San Joaquin Angels, adding to investments it has received from the Sacramento Angels, Sierra Angels and others. The company has raised about $1.8 million so far from investors.