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Health, Science and Environment

Bill would better lock pill bottles to reduce prescription drug abuse

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A bill out of Lansing would require prescription drug manufacturers to begin using locking caps on certain pill bottles to reduce opioid addiction and abuse.

Experts say every year nearly 600-thousand children begin abusing prescription drugs by pilfering a family member’s prescription.

The caps currently used to keep children out of pill bottles are nearly 50 years old, and prescription drugs are 80 times stronger now than they were in 1970.

Republican Representative Joe Bellino is the bills sponsor.

“If somebody goes into a room to use the restroom they will have a tough time getting any pill out of it, a tough time pilfering out of it, unlike today where people can go into a room and they could pilfer a couple pills off the top and no one knows they’re missing. This is how a lot of kids start their drug abuse.”

Bellino said the updated pill bottles would involve a four digit code. The cap would have four rotating panels of numbers, and all four numbers need to be lined up to open the bottle.

He said the bill would have drug manufacturers pay for the upgraded vials, which cost less than a dollar more than the current ones.

House bill 5857 is currently awaiting committee.