A $70 Billion Dollar Industry Problem

This problem is an epidemic

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared prescription drug abuse a national epidemic that costs 20,000 lives and $72 billion dollars a year in healthcare costs alone. Controlled substance diversion by healthcare professionals is an event many healthcare professionals believe could never happen in their institution. Most employees believe they know co-workers well enough and would be able to identify a substance abuser. However, drug diversion in healthcare is more common than most people know. Approximately 15% of all healthcare professionals will struggle with chemical dependency during their career (National Council of State Boards of Nursing [NCSBN], 2001). Stress and chronic illnesses, including migraine headaches, surgery, and back injury, are two of the main reasons why narcotics are initially diverted. All controlled substances within healthcare facilities are required by law to be stored in a locked cabinet or other secure storage container with limited access by office staff. The issue is that the traditional solutions are ineffective. Even programs considered compliant with applicable sections of DEA Title 21 Part 1300 regulations are finding that this is not enough to stop the theft and misuse of controlled substances, as incidences of theft of narcotics and other controlled substances continues to increase. The prescription drug abuse problem among healthcare workers is too large to ignore, with 100,000 healthcare professionals estimated to abuse drugs annually according to the latest statistics.

A risk to patients and healthcare workers

Patients suffer when medications are diverted. This can be due to infections incurred as a result of tainted needles or sub-therapeutic dosing when medications are stolen or diluted. The healthcare delivery team can be greatly affected by less than optimal performance from those operating under the influence. Everyone who gets caught in this web of theft and deceit suffers, as drug diversion is considered to be a driving factor in opioid addiction

Higher Healthcare Costs

Hospitals must bear the brunt of these losses through increases in the cost for patient care, in addition to the expense of covering inventory shrinkage. Public and private medical insurers estimate diversion costs $70 billion. Diversion affects everyone.

The Solution

Patient and professional safety all demand effective, reliable safeguards to maintain the integrity of prescription drugs and controlled substances. Preventing unauthorized access to controlled substances along with the ability to be able to detect drug diversion and respond to it effectively are essential steps that must be taken to address this issue.

Rx Safes’ products are ideal for use in healthcare settings as well as by home healthcare providers to secure controlled substances.  Our biometric interface provides tighter controls than traditional security methods, guaranteeing that ONLY pre-authorized personnel can gain access. We can also provide scheduling and reporting capabilities so that a facility is able to control when a healthcare worker can access controlled substances as well as generate reports to identify actual times a certain biometric identifier and hence a specific person used the interface to unlock the storage device.   This means, if drugs are missing during routine inventory counts, using our biometric technology makes it easier for a facility to pin point who had access during the time in question.


Rx Safes’ fingerprint storage products and the implementation of our technology in and around a healthcare environment provide the ideal solution to prevent unauthorized access and limit drug diversion at the source. Our products have also been used in a variety of other professional healthcare settings to provide varying levels of security. The Rx DrugSAFE has been purchased by hospice facilities and nursing homes, environments where many potentially dangerous drugs are dispensed to individual patients and need to be secured. We have ambulance services using our products to secure medicines transported in the back of their emergency vehicles. Some medical practices even utilize our storage products to securely store their prescription pads, an item which is commonly stolen from doctor’s offices.

However, even with these levels of protection in place within a variety of healthcare environments, controlled substances can still be diverted during the administration and dispensing of the medications. With this in mind, the team at Rx Safes is entering the next phase of our product development efforts, looking to introduce our patented biometric technology into dispensing devices, to provide solutions which will be able to control how much medication is administered, when it is administered, by whom and to whom.

Get In Touch.

If you are a medical facility with a need for a more reliable and secure means to store your controlled substances and would like more information about our products and technology solutions, please complete the form below and a representative will contact you.

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