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Ohio Locking Vial Program Designated Best Practice for MAT/MOUD Treatment by Leading Public Health Organization

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo., Sept. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) recently named locking vial dispensing a Model Practice for medication-assisted treatment (MAT), as well as medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) based on an intervention piloted within Ohio.

The intervention was also selected for a "Best of the Best Presentation" at the NACCHO 360 annual conference. The intervention indicated that the use of locking prescription vials (LPVs) reduced one of the common barriers for patient participation in MOUD programs, which include accessibility, stigma, and medication safety. In the latter category, the intervention showed a 100% improvement in medication security, with 0% of the participants reporting missing medication after using LPVs compared to 39% when using standard prescription vials.

The intervention was led by Union County Health Department Health Educator Lindsay Fetherolf and Lower Lights Christian Health Center Clinical Director of Addiction Services Sarah Channell, and included education, training and data collection on LPV use.

"The intent of the intervention was to see if locking vials could be used as a tool to decrease diversion and increase patient safety and confidence. We learned through conversations with patients using MOUD, and providers prescribing MOUD that, for some patients and providers, stolen medication was a significant concern," said Fetherolf. 

"As a prescriber, I feel much more confident using the locking prescription vial for the safety of young children and families in my community. Teenagers' number one access to prescription medication is typically from their own family's medication cabinet. If all controlled medications were secured with LPVs this pilfering and diversion of medication would be significantly reduced.  Locking prescription vials provide peace of mind to parents and prescribers writing for controlled medication," said Channell.

Patient enrollment in MAT/MOUD has a material effect on both treatment outcomes and patient cost of care. MAT is the most effective intervention to treat opioid use disorder and is more effective than either behavioral interventions or medication alone, with up to 90% of MAT patients maintaining sobriety at the 2-year mark. Enrollment in MAT/MOUD also generates a 74% 12-month reduction in acute care utilization by the patient according to prior studies in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

"LPV dispensing is now officially a best practice for MAT and a proven high return investment for state Medicaid and other payors," said Milton Cohen, President & CEO of Caring Closures and Safe Rx, the manufacturer of the LPVs used in the intervention.

Additional studies by leading academic and public health institutions are testing the efficacy of LPVs in controlled substance dispensing more broadly, plugging a security leak in the controlled substance supply chain. Controlled substance security is highly regulated and audited by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration throughout the entire supply chain, from the point of manufacture to behind the counter at pharmacies, which then dispense the medications into vials with outdated 1970's closure security. The lack of adequate container security once it crosses the pharmacy counter enabled pilfering (stealing a few pills at a time undetected) to become a leading source of diversion and the number one source for teen misuse over a decade ago.

"MAT dispensers and providers have an easily implemented and highly effective solution for increasing MAT patient enrollment, and patients can enroll with the confidence that their medication will stay secure," added Mr. Cohen.

About Safe Rx and Caring Closures International

Caring Closures International (CCI) is transforming public health and consumer product safety with patented innovation modernizing one of the most successful interventions in public health history. CCI's initial Safe Rx® line of locking prescription vials (LPVs®) are sold into multiple healthcare and pharmacy verticals for use in medication safety and pharmacy dispensing, and cut off pilfering, a leading source of diversion and the number one source for teen drug misuse in the United States for over a decade. Ultimately, CCI's cap and closure technology is expected to replace a broad cross section of child-resistant packaging across multiple product categories, updating a proven intervention to help solve several epidemic scale public health crises. For more information, please visit

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