Illinois legislature approves bill supporting cap locks for prescription painkiller containers

9 July 2015 (Last Updated July 9th, 2015 18:30)

Illinois might soon become the first state in the US to implement a rule mandating pharmacies to place a locking device on prescription painkiller containers.

Illinois might soon become the first state in the US to implement a rule mandating pharmacies to place a locking device on prescription painkiller containers.

According to the bill, all prescribed hydrocodone painkillers will need to be contained in a medicine bottle with a numerical locking device, similar to the ones used for gym locks.

The move is aimed to reduce or minimise addiction levels to medication among teens and adults.

"A locking cap significantly reduces any incident of accidental ingestion and provides peace of mind for families."

If the llinois House Bill 3219 is passed by the governor of the state, the initiative will be put to trial for a year.

Illinois state representative Michael Zalewski said: "When it comes to addiction and substance abuse issues, we've seen time and time again the need for an aggressive approach to deter abusers."

The working of the bill would require the participation of the Illinois department of financial and professional regulation, along with the participation of select pharmacies.

According to the figures from the US Centers for Disease Control, the incidences of drug overdose have more than tripled since 1990 and prescription painkillers account for three out of four prescription drug overdoses.

The Simpsons family from Northern California is a major rallying support behind the state's effort to bring down drug misuse and abuse. The victim's older brother Joseph Simpson developed Safer Lock which is a personal four-digit combination locking prescription bottle.

Speaking about the product, Simpson said: "A locking cap significantly reduces any incident of accidental ingestion and provides peace of mind for families."