SmartBottle Opioid Administration Device: Interview with Leila Smith of Ethimedix

By Conn Hastings

Ethimedix, a Swiss medical device company, has developed the SmartBottle, a drug administration device for analgesics. The device is a programmable “lockbox” which allows for the controlled administration of single doses of opioid painkillers, reducing the potential for addiction and abuse.

In view of the current opioid crisis, controlling access to prescription analgesics is important. The FDA has launched an Innovation Challenge to incentivize companies to develop medical devices that can combat the opioid crisis. Ethimedix have recently submitted their SmartBottle for consideration in the challenge.

The SmartBottle dispenses drinkable liquid morphine and employs a variety of security measures. These include biometric fingerprint authentication to ensure that only authorized patients or healthcare providers can access the medication.

The device also incorporates a tamper-proof cartridge, and if the dispenser detects a breach it will immediately flash-neutralize the medication, rendering it useless. The dispensers have already been tested in French hospitals, and the company plans to market them in the US.

Medgadget asked Leila Smith, scientific and business consultant at Ethimedix, some questions about the system.

Conn Hastings, Medgadget: Please give us some background on the scale and impact of the current opioid crisis and the need for better pain management.

Leila Smith, Ethimedix: Overdose by drugs is the leading cause of death of Americans under 50, with two-thirds of those deaths from opioids. Opioids were responsible for 49,000 of the 72,000 drug overdose deaths overall in the U.S. in 2017 (for all ages).

This is a tragic reality for many families in the U.S. In fact, many people know someone, or of someone, who has died as a result of an overdose, accidental or otherwise. The cost to society is not only very high but is sky rocketing: according to, the “Economic Toll of the Opioid Crisis in the U.S. has exceeded $1 Trillion since 2001.”

In May 2018, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a national emergency and issued a directive to his administration to use all “appropriate emergency and other authorities to respond to the crisis caused by the opioid epidemic.”

On October 3, 2018, the Senate passed the final version of a sweeping opioids package, signed on October 24, 2018 by President Trump. The Washington Post called out “one of Congress’s most significant legislative achievements this year, a rare bipartisan response to a growing public health crisis that resulted in 72,000 drug-overdose deaths last year.”

In large part, the opioid crisis is due to the rapid increase in the use of prescription and non-prescription opioid drugs in the U.S. and Canada, beginning in the late 1990s, which has continued to increase dramatically since then. This is where our SmartBottle can make a difference: by regulating and controlling access to the prescribed opioid, the patient’s ability to increase his or her usage, and access by family and friends is thwarted.

Medgadget: Please give us an overview of how the SmartBottle works and the treatment it dispenses.

Leila Smith: The SmartBottle is programmed …read more

Read more here:: Medgadget/

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