(CBS Local) – A Virginia inventor has created a hi-tech pill bottle he hopes will be a game-changer in the nation’s current opioid crisis. Joseph Hamilton says his invention will prevent patients from abusing their prescriptions and send information to police if the bottles are broken into.
The Amherst, Virginia man says he was personally affected by opioid epidemic after he lost his girlfriend to a fatal overdose of prescription drugs. “I told her one day I said, ‘I’m gonna come up with something you can’t argue with, the doctors will know exactly how you’ve taken you’re medicine and you won’t be able to get it until it’s due,'” Hamilton said, via CBS Austin.
The inventor has reportedly invested $70,000 of his own money over the last seven years to create the computer programmed pill dispenser. The Virginian claims his invention will also be able to track when and where a patient takes their dosage. “It can be recorded every time and date that the pill comes out and even where they were at, with the GPS in it,” Hamilton explained.
Hamilton has already obtained the patent for his overdose-battling creation and is attempting to put the bottles into mass production. He was reportedly offered $1 million by an unnamed a pharmaceutical company in order to keep the bottles off the market but refused. “People are dying every day, people are losing their kids, their husbands, wives, parents, their lives to opioids,” Hamilton added.
The inventor has started a GoFundMe page in order to raise some of the $4 million it will reportedly take to get the bottles distributed across the country. Hamilton has also reached out to government agencies in an attempt to gather support for his dispensers.
President Donald Trump has created a commission to combat America’s overdose epidemic after declaring a national emergency on opioid abuse earlier this year. The CDC reports that 91 people died each day from opioid overdoses from 2000 to 2015.