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US Department of Defense to Study Impact of Dispensing Opioids in Locking Vials Federal Funding Available for States to Study Effect on Preventing Teen Drug Abuse & Opioid Addiction
Date January 19, 2017

Greenwood Village, CO – President Obama recently signed the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which contains a provision requiring the Secretary of Defense to study the feasibility and effectiveness of dispensing opioid medications in locking packaging designed to prevent pilfering, the theft of a controlled substance in undetectable amounts for non-medical use.

The Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA), enacted in July, contains a similar provision authorizing federal funding for states and local governments to conduct studies of controlled substance dispensing in locking containers.

“Congress should be applauded for recognizing the need for improved container security in prescription drug dispensing. Eliminating pilfering with Locking Prescription Vials (LPVs) would prevent up to 5 million teens from initiating abuse and return up to $56 billion to the national economy over a ten-year period,” said Milton Cohen, President & CEO of Safe Rx.

These steps by Congress come with the support of groups such as the National Narcotics Officers Association, D.A.R.E., and the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse. These groups recently wrote ONDCP Director Michael Botticelli, asking him to encourage federal agencies with pharmacy operations to actively consider the use of locking containers for controlled substance dispensing.

Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Prescription drugs are the number one gateway to heroin addiction and have become the most commonly abused substances among 12 and 13-year-olds, with pilfering from family medicine cabinets the leading source for teen abuse.

In 2015, the Bloomberg School of Public Health published an opioid report recommending that research be conducted to assess more secure packaging, while the Food and Drug Administration requested public comment in 2013 on using innovative packaging as a response to the prescription drug abuse epidemic.

About Safe RxTM Locking Prescription Vials (LPVs)

Safe RxTM LPVs are physician-developed, child resistant certified locking prescription vials that are both tamper-evident and pilfer-resistant. Designed for use in the mass retail dispensing environment, Safe RxTM LPVs are engineered for extremely low incremental fill time and ease of adaptation into the current supply chain and dispensing regime. For more information please visit