Medicine bottle equipped with stopwatch aims to cut down on accidental overdoses
In addition to the opioid epidemic that continues to sweep the nation, medication errors result in millions of calls to poison control every year, according to CVS pharmacy.
Research reports that three Americans every minute make a call for help to poison control due to mistakes taking pills or other types of medication.
Four out of 10 mistakes involved painkillers, hormone therapy prescriptions or heart medication.
The rate of medication errors rose from 1.09 for every 100,000 Americans in 2000 to 2.28 per 100,000 by 2012.
Nationwide, around 1.5 million medication errors occur every year. Whether it’s mistakenly taking the wrong dose of a prescription or the wrong medication, a new device aims to reduce the number of people forced to seek help from poison control.
The TimerCap is being sold at select pharmacies worldwide and may help those who are diligent taking their medication.
Here’s how it works: the cap is placed on top of the bottle of medication and tracks the hours and minutes between the time a patient needs to take medication. Essentially, the cap is a stopwatch.
“Medication non-adherence can account for 10 to 20 percent of hospital and nursing admittance, so people taking their medication is very important and taking it as their doctor prescribes is very important,” said CVS pharmacy manager Tora Stewart.
The caps can’t prevent a patient from taking medication before the timer runs out, however the device could help accidental overdosing.
The medication was invented by Larry Twersky, a man with a deeply personal connection to the problem of medication errors. “My mom was someone who had prescription and opioid medication addictions,” he admitted.
The TimerCap typically sells for about $10 at pharmacies, including RiteAid and CVS.