Friday, September 2, 2016

WHO Designs Medicine Bottle Caps: From A Senior Struggling to Open Them!

Look familiar? You want one and get many!
Having reached a certain age, the number of prescriptions I take has increased with the increase in years. Sound familiar? While, in fact, the number of medicines (meds) I take daily has rather dramatically decreased, the struggle to open some of them has not. I know many seniors whose prescriptions have increased though. You want one and as the photo so clearly shows, you get many, too many.

I have wondered why someone, anyone, has not invented and patented a prescription bottle cap that simply gives you one pill, the number the vast majority of us take at any given time during the day? Everyday I curse the three or four or none that magically appear or don't appear as you fish around for them. I'm convinced they wait for me in their special drawer. I can just hear them, "Here he comes, tighten up!" Maybe like screams in the movie "Monster, Inc." the struggles give them more power over us. They may be on to something. In fact we do age a little bit more every day!
Can't open it? Give it to a kid.

When my son was about 3 or 4, I remember struggling with one when I had yet another sinus infection. After watching me struggle, he asked to try it ... you know the one you push and twist and well, it doesn't? He took it from me and opened it without even flexing a muscle. I stood there looking at him. My in-law's,  it seems, had already discovered the same thing. An adult can't open it? Give a childproof bottle to a kid, they can open it.

I have watched friends and relatives struggling with the same thing especially a favorite aunt who had so many medicines I wondered how she ever kept track of them. She took them morning, noon and night in a kind of medical ballet I didn't envy at all. I still don't know how she did it.

First we try the hands, then the hammer and if all else
fails, there is the trusty crowbar.
During her weekly ritual filling her next weeks case, I witnessed a scene not unlike the women on the left and while she never (or hardly) swore the looks on her face told volumes about her feelings. In fact her struggles caused her to loose track and she had to check what she had already put in to make sure she didn't miss a thing. I would have helped but that would have altered her mo-jo so I would just sit and watch. Its almost like watching a chess game. Where will they move? How long will it take?

Later when she was no longer able to do this herself my uncle had to be the medicine guru in their home, a task I didn't envy!

Why do bottles have to be so difficult? I can understand a child opening them and taking an overdose of something. My daughter as a teenager grabbed a bottle of my blood thinner and popping my pills instead of her's, prompted a call to the CDC that urged us to get her to vomit them out. One 3 mg. warfarin tablet would be OK but not 4. I don't even remember what she was on, probably her steroids during an asthma attack. While I held the phone and listened to the CDC, my wife urged her to vomit the pills by sticking a finger down her throat. It worked. However, that still doesn't explain why bottles are so difficult to open.
It appears ICE BREAKERS has already solved this
dilemma. You can choose one OR many.

The other day, while riding in a friends car, I fished out a container that contained mints, ICE BREAKERS. It was hot here in Palm Springs, my mouth and throat were dry so I looked at the case to find where it opened. You can imagine my surprise when I saw it clearly marked ... for getting ONE tablet at the top and MANY tablets at the bottom. Whoever invented this clever solution is missing out on a patent fortune! Just imagine what his or her patent would generate if every prescription bottle on earth gave us this option? I mean, it would be like "sliced" bread!

Will mean the end of "Push Down
and Twist? I sure hope so!!!
 Ice Breaker Mints works for me!
So, a simple and existing solution is already among us and well, no one is even giving it a try. I bet that thousands, no millions of people around the world would welcome this amazing cap and its designer as if they were a hero, akin to the discovery of polio vaccine, flu shots even remedies that solve countless other diseases that we manage to accumulate in our lifetimes and require that ubiquitous orange, plastic medicine bottle with that nasty, twisting white cap that never relents urging "push down and twist." Its the 21st Century; time for a change, right?

I urge you to send this column to your Wal-Marts, RiteAids, Walgreens, CVS and any other pharmacy you use and ask for ... no DEMAND that they switch their caps to something akin to this. We can ask for a simple cap, if there are no kids around, that is still tight enough to spill everything on the counter when you get it off.  Here, you would get a tab merely big enough to get one tablet, that wouldn't open or give you more than one. How simple is that? Let me know what you think.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please, take the time to explore earlier blogs where the emphasis here and always is to explore the ways design affects our lives ... and always has. 

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