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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Can Timer Cap Put a Lid on Opioid Epidemic?

Timer Cap isn’t trying to solve the opioid epidemic. But it does think it can help when it comes to prevention. It all started when Chief Executive Larry Twersky saw his products sold to organizations other than his usual customers, which are CVS Pharmacy and Rite Aid Corp. It turned out anti-drug coalitions were using timer caps to help patients track their dosage. There were even some smoking cessation groups that used his products to help its members keep track of their cigarettes and record smoking triggers. When the Moorpark manufacturing company started producing prescription bottles with timers about seven years ago, its goal was simple. It wanted to provide an added feature to a generic prescription bottle that had not seen a new innovation in decades. However, as the nation’s opioid crisis intensified, the bottle’s ability to help patients track their dosage filled an important safety function. “Timer cap is really like a speedometer for your medication,” said Twersky. “We are giving patients a tool to prevent an accident from turning into a tragedy.” Timer Cap’s bottles come with lids that have a timer screen. Every time a patient opens the bottle, the timer resets, allowing the patient to keep track of the time they last took the medication. In addition, the company started adding tracking sheets, allowing patients to keep note of their dosing frequency and pain levels. Twersky said this information became a reference for doctors as they consulted their patients in medication management. Timer Cap can help prevent opioid addiction in two ways. Patients can record the interval between each dose, preventing an accidental overdose. The device can also detect and deter others from taking the medication. Twersky said 52 percent of opioid abuse cases start in somebody else’s medicine cabinet. For those who prefer more automation, Timer Cap recently launched a new product with Bluetooth technology installed. Patients can download an accompanying app so that their medication data is tracked and stored automatically on their smartphones. Now, Twersky sees an additional role for his company in public health. Recently, Timer Cap started advocating the creation of an opioid prevention kit with the Food and Drug Administration. The company wants to create a kit to include its timed prescription bottle, a medication tracking sheet and an informational brochure alerting patients that frequent use of certain medications can lead to addiction. “What we’ve been really trying to do is give people the tools that allow patients to know the dangers of opioids prior to taking it home,” said Twersky. “A lot of people don’t even realize they are taking an opioid home because it says something like hydrocodone or some other name on the bottle.” Twersky said it’s important to note that he does not see his company as a cure-all. “This is for people to not inadvertently, accidently have an issue, and to give more safety,” said Twerksy. “Is it perfect safety? No. But we are creating tools so that nobody is opioid naïve.” Bone, Nerve Symposium West Hills Hospital & Medical Center is hosting an Orthopedic and Neuro Symposium to provide the public with knowledge on how to handle joint and bone pains. While most symposia are only open to health care professionals who are looking to learn about new treatments and technologies, this event is geared towards the general public so that participants can have firsthand interaction with doctors and care providers. The event will consist of three seminars focusing on hip replacement, knee replacement and solutions for common neck and back pains. Seminars will cover advances in orthopedic technology along with education on how to manage the pain that comes with aging joints. “This event offers the community a great opportunity to meet three of our dedicated physicians and hear about treatment options for joint and back pain,” said Aimee Bennett, director of marketing and public relations at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center. Attendees will be able to participate in question-and-answer sessions with doctors at each seminar. In the last decade, the number of patients needing hip replacements have more than doubled, according to research by U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. The study also found that osteoarthritis has increased among those aged 45 and older. While the causes are unclear, osteoarthritis have been linked to obesity and aging. The event will be held on Aug. 23 at Corporate Pointe on 8521 Fallbrook Ave., Canoga Park. Staff Reporter Iris Lee can be reached at (818) 316-3130 or ilee@sfvbj.com

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