IL pilot program to put locks on prescription bottles - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

IL pilot program to put locks on prescription bottles

ILLINOIS (KFVS) -

Everyday, 44 people in the United States die from overdose of prescription painkillers, that's according to the Centers for Disease control.

The issue has prompted Illinois lawmakers to find a possible solution.

We all know these bottles already have childproof locks but the state wants to add more security with locking devices actually on the lid, kind of like what you see on a gym locker.

But some pharmacists call it an added expense.

A cap with a combination lock is the first of its kind and will soon be offered to Illinois Pharmacies that agree to be part of a pilot program.

Illinois lawmakers hope this lid saves lives with the extra layer of security.

"If it's a good thing, we want to provide patient safety to our patients and if it does not work we will be able to give some feedback to the state,” said Ben Calcaterra, a pharmacist at Logan Primary Care.

He said he plans to take part in the pilot program, but he said he has his doubts about the idea.

"If somebody is going to want a full bottle of those hydrocodone containing tablets, they would take the entire bottle, hack off the bottom and still have access to the pills regardless of the locking mechanism,” he said.

Calcaterra said there's also the cost to consider. He said a standard lid costs about 15 cents each.

The lids would run about $3 each.

"Someone has to cover that three dollars and it won't be the state,” he said.

And if it’s not going to be the state, the cost is going to put on you, the patient.

Medicaid, Medicare or any long-term nursing home patients would be exempt from the program as a whole.

Those lids will be available January 2016.

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