We are excited to present another NMS Intelligence podcast in our new series in collaboration with NMS Labs! Please let us know how you like it!
OUR GUESTS William Simpson, President of DisposeRX and Ann Hamlin, Director of Training and Scientific Support of DisposeRX, joined to the show for the purpose of sharing their Solution to Proper Medication Disposal.
Specifically, we discuss the following with William and Ann in this episode:
- Why is it so critical to include disposal solutions in the national conversation on the opioid crisis?
- Why is the DisposeRx drug disposal solution better than other disposal systems available?
- When you mention that DisposeRx is the most tested, what does that mean?
- What are the risks of not emptying your home medicine cabinet? (Include some examples of drug addict behaviors around extracting opioids and discussion diversion prevention.)
- So much of what we hear about every day pertains to the opioid crisis. Is your product only effective for drugs in the opioid class?
- What’s next for DisposeRx, what are you working on that your customers are going to be excited about?
About William Simpson
Wm. M. Simpson began his career with a unique combination of entrepreneur acumen and investor experience, building, running and selling businesses across a range of industries. With a transformational focus on innovative Healthcare Technology solutions, Simpson has taken his Private Office investment experience of managing investments, Foundations and business dealings to become a team-oriented leader, demonstrated by his project-driven ability to provide strategic business planning necessary to move companies, organizations, products and services. As a successful executive, Simpson’s talents lie in establishing and nurturing strategic business relationships while innovating growth, business planning and coordinating special projects. With this broad range of skills, Simpson brings an energized focus for analyzing and identifying a variety of innovative solutions necessary for moving organizations, products and services.
Currently, Simpson is the President of DisposeRx, Inc., focusing on the safe and secure disposal of unused, unwanted or expired medications. Prior to DisposeRx, Simpson was focused on healthcare IT through medication management and the secure and safe delivery of post filled/post verified medications, Simpson was also the Director of Sales and Business Development of a global mission-critical enterprise healthcare IT solutions company, where he was responsible for the company’s information and strategic planning requirements. As an accomplished leader Simpson has inspired and motivated workable solutions that have delivered customer-facing solutions, making a difference by addressing key healthcare technology innovations. When co-founding an integrated payment and records healthcare system, he developed the first financial services healthcare fiscal intermediary payment compliance tool in the nation.
About Ann Hamlin
Ann Hamlin has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and a Masters Degree of Forensic Chemistry with a specialty in Drug Chemistry. She retired after 30 years at the North Carolina State Crime Laboratory, ending her last nine years as the Forensic Scientist Manager of Drug Chemistry. Ann currently serves as the Director of Training and Scientific Support with DisposeRx.
About NMS Labs
NMS Labs brings you the innovative tests and services that meet the ever-changing world of drugs and diagnostics.
Developed under the direction of experts renowned throughout the medical, forensic and legal fields, NMS Labs provides a unique and impressive menu of more than 2,500 tests—all readily available to clients ranging from hospitals and universities to law enforcement, attorneys and medical examiners. They turn to us for our expertise, service and innovation they simply can’t find anywhere else.
In addition, NMS Labs…
- Has more than 200 highly trained technicians and 18 Ph.D. scientists and toxicologists on staff with decades of experience to help you
- Uses a world-class, full-service facility including a dedicated and secure crime laboratory to provide you with the finest testing services available
- Meets the rigorous standards of such industry organizations as ABFT, ASCLD/LAB-International ISO 17025, CAP ISO 15189, CAP-LAP and NYS DOH
Our adherence to rigorous accreditation and licensure programs reflects our commitment to improve patient safety, promote consistently excellent testing, and advance the quality of our work. It’s your assurance that our laboratory meets or exceeds the standards set by leaders in our fields. You can always test with us with confidence.
Because the demands of the medical, forensic and legal fields evolve at an increasing pace all the time, we work hard to connect the needs of your world with that of the most innovative testing available in laboratory science. It’s why we’re always improving and expanding our test menu, capabilities, instrumentation and expertise.
Joe Lavelle: Welcome to NMS Intelligence, an exciting new podcast series from NMS Labs. I’m your host Joe Lavelle, and I’m really looking forward to our conversation today with more trailblazing innovators.
We’re going to get right to it. Today, we’re joined by William Simpson, President of DisposeRX and Ann Hamlin, Director of Training and Scientific Support of DisposeRX. William and Ann, welcome to NMS Intelligence.
William Simpson: Thank you, Joe.
Ann Hamlin: Thank you.
Joe Lavelle: It’s so great to have you here. William, we’ll start with you. Could you give us a 10,000-foot overview of what you guys do at DisposeRX?
William Simpson: Absolutely. Joe, we’ve got a very passionate and committed team that is committed to stopping the opioid epidemic at the home medicine cabinet. As we all know, the problem that we’re having with our nations prescription drug abuse epidemic is that these problems are starting at home. It starts in the home medicine cabinets which are listed by access and diversion, and we have got a great team of people that have developed a very simple easy solution to remove the unwanted, unused or expired medications at the home at the time in a side abuse perspective, so that they can safely and easily destroy medications. So we are very committed to preventing the cycle of environmental pollution, addiction, overdose and death with our simple to use DisposeRx solution.
Joe Lavelle: Perfect and you’ve set us up perfectly. Today, we’re going to be talking with William and Ann about the evolution of drug disposal solutions and the critical role of proper and timely drug disposal, most importantly because of the opioid crisis and further drug abuse in America. William why is this so critical to include drug disposal solutions in a national conversation on the opioid crisis?
William Simpson: Yeah. Joe, it’s imperative that we talk about the life cycle of medication and the life cycle of the education of that medication. There are two times that we really are focused around understanding our medications. It’s when our doctors are prescribing it and it’s when we are picking it up from the pharmacy. 89% of us still pick up our medications at a face to face perspective, a caregiver, loved one, family member type aspect, and our pharmacists are our warriors in helping our nation with this epidemic. They are the focus point, in our opinion, on who can help manage the educational aspect of why it is important to think about where you do not want to leave medication’s left over in the home environment. This is where diversion and misuse can, and as we’ve seen with this epidemic ran rampant.
We’re blessed at DisposeRx from the stewardship of not just our field of innovation, but our inventors, Dr. John Holaday and Dr. Ed Rudnick and Marcus Schestopol really developed something that is simple and so when you’re talking about disposal and you’re trying to talk about why it is important, we need simple solutions, because otherwise as just normal consumers we will do nothing. That’s what we do, it’s just human nature. So we’ve got to educate on not just the things that you always hear about medication, adherence, compliance, we have to educate on the life cycle of why if it goes unused or unwanted or off therapy, it is important to remove it. There’s no health or financial benefit in keeping these medicines in our medicine cabinets for long periods of time or for later use.
Joe Lavelle: William and Ann, I have to offer this personal story, I guess and I usually try to get personal on my podcasts. I had 4 or 5 prescriptions, opioid prescriptions sitting outside my office right now. My mother past away the first of April, so this is very real to me. She was on 10 or 11 different types of prescriptions, and before I got the request for this interview and before we started working on this, I had no idea what I was going to do with them. So, I’m interested too in learning what to do and I’m going to have a follow up directly that I will feedback to the audience about how this all works. So this is really personal and this really does hit home I think not only for me but millions and millions of Americans.
What is it about the DisposeRx solution that makes it better than other solutions that are available out there?
William Simpson: Well, first Joe let me say losing mothers are, I’m sorry to hear that, it’s a very hard thing to do and I appreciate you sharing that, because you’re right, that’s a point on time that when we lose our loved ones that we have a lot of leftover medications and that’s when the dangers start. But to go back to your question, which is about the science of why, why DisposeRx from a standpoint of why we think our product is a …?
Joe Lavelle: Yes, what makes you guys the best solution for somebody that has those pill bottles that they don’t know what to do with?
William Simpson: Ann, please go ahead.
Ann Hamlin: Well, Joe I’m not sure if everybody is aware that 70% of new opioid addictions begin in the home medicine cabinet, and often times like yourself people don’t know what to do with unused medication, leftover medication. So if this solution is not easy and convenient, we’re finding that people aren’t really disposing of the medication and they’re holding on to it and they are keeping it because they don’t have really a good mechanism for medication disposal.
And that’s kind of what we pride ourselves on, is we are the most easy to use, convenient, cost effective and environmentally safe disposal solution on the market today. We are solving the problems, safe drug dispose on millions of homes now, and our package or our solution is not so much a one-step solution, but it is environmentally safe, and it gives the consumer all of those things they are looking for in order to properly dispose of medication.
The ease of use, the site of use, you do it right then and there, at the moment you choose to get rid of a medication whether it’s a prescription dosage change or you just have leftover medications in the home for one reason or another, at that moment you choose to dispose, our solution can be used at that moment instead of waiting perhaps for another mechanism or driving it to a location that may collect these things, so that’s what makes our product so appealing.
Joe Lavelle: Great. And Ann you mentioned that DisposeRx is the most tested solution, what does that mean?
Ann Hamlin: Just what that says, it is the most tested solution. We have had 4 third-party independent laboratories test our solution for a variety of different things. One of those things we’ve tested for extractability. We wanted to make sure that when medication is disposed of, that it is no longer available to let’s say an addict, they can’t go into the solution and extract it chemically from the solution, we had testing to verify that.
We also have testing to make sure that it is environmentally safe, and when it is stored within the household trash, that it is not going to harm the environment. And again it is done from third-party laboratories. This was not an in-house testing. These were laboratories that are credible laboratories that have been doing this for years. So we have withstood some pretty intense rigorous testing on the product.
Joe Lavelle: You mentioned that this problem really revolves around people not needing the medicine anymore, and being in medicine cabinets and it’s probably a family member or somebody else that is using the left over drugs for nefarious purposes, what are the real risks that you guys are seeing, because you’re really studying this of not emptying those home medicine cabinets?
William Simpson: Joe, it’s the unknown diversion. So, it’s the I want to keep this opioid or this pain killer for later use and misdiagnosing why I am going to use it. The opioids are very dangerous from a standpoint of yeah, I may have been prescribed something for toothache, but I fell off the ladder this weekend or I overexerted myself at the golf course, so I am going to take it to help with the pain.
And it’s the misunderstanding of that, or keeping it in the medicine cabinet, and as you know as well as I, when you’re on a medication you kind of have a good idea of how much is in the vial when I get close to the end, but when you have a medication that is just left there for later use, I’m going to keep it for maybe later or something happens, you might not remember how much is in there, and then you’ve got friends, relatives, children, children’s friends, professionals that comes in the house from a cleaning, HVAC, etc. You think about realtors are now concerned about people locking up the medications when they’re doing open houses.
It’s that unknown access that when addiction has set in and someone’s trying to find their high, that’s the problem. And we are fundamental believers that we can have this as far upstream as being proactive as possible which allows to help the other aspects about addiction and recovery, but our main focus is looking at this as far upstream in a proactive perspective to say the moment the medication goes unwanted, it goes unused or it’s off therapy, it’s time to remove it from the field of use if you will.
Think about if I get pre-prescribed in medication, so heart medication or its a stimulant medication, instead of getting confused of which dose I should remove the dose that I’m no longer taking. In that way I might help in the re-admittance to the hospital’s perspective because I’m not having any kind of drug to drug interaction, or any kind of overdosing accidentally with other medications. So, it’s important to manage that entire life cycle of our medication.
As our pharmacists are practicing on the top of their licenses, they’re getting more involved in the day to day management and we as a society are learning that we need to manage our prescription drugs in a healthier way. Part of that management is disposal, and we believe that with the customers that we have and with the conversation that’s happening that this has gone from a tertiary issue to a secondary issue, and that we’re on the top of this becoming a primary issue as we talk about therapy management and it’s very important.
Ann Hamlin: And Joe if I may add to that, I believe your question was about what are the risk of not emptying your home medicine cabinet. Another thing to think about is accidental poisoning for children. 160 young children under the age of 5 visit at the emergency department every day, and this is just something else to think about. We think of our seniors, we think of the senior population. If they don’t empty out their medicine cabinet then they become targets of criminal behavior. If a criminal knows that somebody in the neighborhood is a senior, they are taking a lot of drugs, they may become a target, so I just thought it would might be interesting to add those pieces.
Joe Lavelle: Perfect, thank you for that. It’s no surprise to anybody that there’s an opioid crisis anymore. The news has been all over it, it’s something that top of mind for all of us at this point. But is your product only effective for drugs that are opioids?
William Simpson: No. The beautiful part of our product is when Dr. John Holiday and Dr. Ed Rudnick got together and worked with Marcus, and just to give you some background John Holiday has a neuroscientist, oncology background, Ed is a science of pharmaceutical executive and Marcus is a chemical engineer, and when they got together the idea was this is for tablets, capsules, pills, it’s for any drug. So think about the problems that we have with our environment in antibiotics that are creeping into the environment. Hermaphroditic fish, for reasons of other drugs that are from a negative externality getting into our groundwater and our drinking water and our water tables, we are for removing any drug that is unused or goes off therapy for the medicine cabinet, but doing it in a way that is a benefit to the environment instead of a negative.
So no, this is designed for liquids, capsules, tablets, etc. We do focus on the opioid epidemic from a standpoint of where we can do the most good right away. But we are also focusing on others if you think about the most commonly abused prescriptions from different, you see different government lists from the perspective of what is abuse. We also think about the problems that we have with overused antibiotics and the long-term difficulties that we as a nation will face with us not being on our antibiotic therapies correctly and trying to remove those as well. So we are for cleaning up the medicine cabinet in any way, shape or form.
Joe Lavelle: Perfect. One of my favorite questions to ask guests is what’s next for DisposeRx, what are you working on that your customers are going to be excited about?
William Simpson: A lot of the stuff that Ann and Dr. Holliday are working on when it comes to the science and education, and really finding ways that hit home for people to understand the importance of disposal. And we’ve got few fun things happening that should be announced over the summer and into the fall. But honestly for us, it’s really getting solutions like you mentioned, what do I do with all my mother’s medications, and what we got coming down the pipe, I think you’ll see is very exciting, so that’s it’s not something that you have to think about anymore, it’s just something that you can easily do, so that when your children are age, it’s as simple as an app on an iPhone, it’s just something that is easy to do and something that they know they need to. So you’ll see some good stuff over the next 3 to 6 months.
Joe Lavelle: All right, we’re going to be looking forward to that. Everybody go and bookmark right now http://www.disposerx.com and keep up with all the exciting announcements that William just talked about that are coming this summer. I also wanted to take time to thank the great folks at NMS Labs for connecting us with William and Ann and for helping to make this interview happen. So, while we’re at it let’s also go to http://www.nmslabs.com, bookmark that site and see what other great things they are doing to help fight the opioid crisis.
William and Ann, it was so great to have you on the show, thanks for stopping by and sharing your great wisdom with us.
William Simpson: Joe, thank you.
Ann Hamlin: Thank you, Joe.
Joe Lavelle: It was my pleasure, and that wraps this broadcast. On behalf of our guests, William Simpson and Ann Hamlin, I am Joe Lavelle, and we’ll see you soon on NMS Intelligence.