Health Notes: New gadget reminds patients to take pillsThe RX Timer Cap, being introduced at Thrifty White Drug Stores, comes with what amounts to a digital stopwatch on its surface. It keeps track of the amount of time that has elapsed since the last time you opened the medicine bottle.
By: John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
It’s a medicine cap. It’s also a timer.
The RX Timer Cap, being introduced at Thrifty White Drug Stores, comes with what amounts to a digital stopwatch on its surface. It keeps track of the amount of time that has elapsed since the last time you opened the medicine bottle.
“It works pretty good,” said Nat Willgohs, chief pharmacist for the Thrifty White Drug Store in Cloquet. “It’s just a good reminder. … Every time you open it up and put it back on, it resets. Then they know if they miss a dose.”
It also keeps consumers from inadvertently taking an extra dose, Willgohs said.
Thrifty White, which also has retailers in Grand Rapids, Hibbing, Moose Lake, Sandstone and Virginia, rolled out the caps over the past few weeks, Willgohs said. Customers who are part of the pharmacy’s “Ready Refill” program get a free timer cap with each prescription. They can keep using the same cap with refills.
People who sign up for the Ready Refill program have their prescriptions automatically refilled and ready to go for them each month, Willgohs said. That comprises somewhere between 30 and 50 percent of the pharmacy’s customers, he said.
So far, customers seem to like the timer caps, Willgohs said.
“To really help improve drug compliance is the biggest goal,” he said.
The Los Angeles-based RX Timer Cap company was founded by Richard Million Burke Jr. A news release from the company cites an independent study of 10,000 patients. It showed that the group using the timer caps had a 33.9 percent increase in compliance over a control group.
The news release said the Thrifty White chain is the first in the Upper Midwest to offer the timer caps.
Smiles on wheels
Seven Special Olympics Minnesota athletes received free dental care on Wednesday when UCare’s Mobile Dental Clinic was parked outside of First United Methodist Church in Duluth.
The preventive and restorative care is provided as part of Special Olympics Minnesota’s Special Smiles programs. The athletes treated on Wednesday either were referred through a screening event in June or were provided with care they couldn’t get elsewhere because they lack dental insurance, a Special Olympics Minnesota news release said.
The clinic takes place in a 43-foot “dentist’s office on wheels.”
Keeping kids safe
Minnesota kids are much safer in cars than they used to be, the state Department of Public Safety says.
In the midst of National Child Passenger Safety Week, the agency is touting the effectiveness of the state’s child passenger safety laws, which passed 30 years ago.
But it’s still an incomplete success, the agency said in a news release. In the last decade, 32 children ages 7 and younger were killed in crashes in Minnesota, and only 44 percent of those were properly restrained.
In fact, three out of four child restraints are used incorrectly in Minnesota, the news release said. Either children were in a seat that was wrong for their size or it was not properly secured.
Instructional videos about installing and using various car seats can be found at buckleupkids.mn.gov.