Tennessee bill proposes lockable vials in effort to deter opioid pilfering

Lockable prescription bottle. (DVL Seigenthaler)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) - A proposed bill in the Tennessee legislature calls for opioids and other schedule II substances to come in a lockable vial.

SB2142/HB2173 proposes that when a prescription is filled for an opioid or schedule II substance, the issuing pharmacy would bottle the pills in a mechanism that could only be unlocked by the patient.

The bottle (pictured above) would be opened using a biometric system or a combination code. Each patient would be assigned a pin number only they would know, allowing them to unlock the container.

Dubbed "The Pilfering Prevention Act," the concept is to keep teens and children from being able to sneak small amounts of drugs from a family member's prescription. Supporters see the move as a deterrent measure to aid in the fight against opioid overdoses.

A study in the journal Pediatrics published earlier this month reports the number of children admitted to hospitals for opioid overdose has nearly doubled from 2004 to 2015.

Tennessee is one of four states currently proposing legislation for lockable packaging. The bill has been taken off the Health Subcommittee calendar in the House but could show up as an amendment as part of a separate bill.

See the full bill below or CLICK HERE.

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