Illinois Legislature Passes First-in-Nation Bill for Locking Caps on Painkillers

4-Digit Combination Lock Invented by Student Poised to Help

SACRAMENTO, Calif.--()--Illinois House Bill 3219 is the first of its kind in the United States, and requires pharmacies opting-in to place a locking device on prescription painkiller containers.

“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,” said Illinois State Representative Michael Zalewski.

If the Governor of Illinois signs the bill, the plan will be tested for one year. It will require the participation of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation along with select participating pharmacies. The unique bill specifies all prescribed hydrocodone painkillers must be contained in a medicine bottle with a numerical locking device, such as those used for gym locks.

Tweet This Passage of Illinois #HB3219 means tighter security for individual prescriptions using 4-digit combination medicine caps like #SaferLock

Physicians often prescribe heavy painkillers such as hydrocodone for chronic pain. In fact, it is not uncommon to find these in medicine cabinets across the country. However, ingestion of the medication by a toddler can be fatal, and for a curious teen it can become addictive. Drug overdose death rates in the United States have more than tripled since 1990, according to the CDC. Prescription painkillers cause three out of four prescription drug overdoses.

A Northern California family, suffering from their own experience with drug addiction, hopes to be a player in the state’s effort to clamp down on drug misuse/abuse.

The Simpson family rallied when the youngest member became addicted to OxyContin, stealing one pill at a time from his mother’s prescription. Sacramento State University graduate and older brother, Joseph Simpson, created Safer Lock™, the only personal 4-digit combination locking prescription bottle currently on the market. The unique product has been certified to protect children under the age of 7 from unauthorized access to prescription medication, while allowing seniors up to the age of 70 easy access.

Gatekeeper Innovation, Safer Lock’s parent company along with Ohio-based Centor, has a young executive sales team that has already placed their product in major retail chains like Giant Eagle, Roundy’s and Save Mart. Also available online, the medicine locking closure retails for $11.99. Safer Lock fits on most traditional prescription bottles. Adaptors are available for non-standard sized bottles.

“We’re an inexpensive insurance policy for parents,” says inventor Joseph Simpson. “A locking cap significantly reduces any incident of accidental ingestion and provides peace of mind for families.”

The Simpson family’s goal is to educate other families about drug access and provide an easy-to-use, locking prescription bottle as a strong first line of defense.

The Illinois bill, if signed into law, would take effect January 1, 2016. For more information on the Safer Lock, visit Facebook, Twitter, YouTube.


Gatekeeper Innovation
Cinde Dolphin, 916-768-1690

Release Summary

Illinois legislature votes in-favor of first-in-nation pilot program placing combination locks on caps for painkiller medications.


Gatekeeper Innovation
Cinde Dolphin, 916-768-1690