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  • New Technology from Response Scientific offers Solution to Opioid Drug Epidemic

    Embedding opioid pain medications in novel hydrogel beads helps prevent abuse.

    PRINCETON, N.J., June 28, 2017 – Response Scientific, Inc.® (RSI) announced today it has developed a solution to the massive illicit black-market opioid drug epidemic plaguing communities across North America.

    Utilizing a new patent-pending technology that provides a method of embedding opioid drugs and other medicines in novel hydrogel beads, RSI is able to prevent the distillation and concentration of the drug into a powdered form for easy use by drug addicts and black-market sellers.

    Opioid-based pain medications are effective, vital, and necessary in the management of pain due to serious injury and illness. Opioids are a class of drugs that include prescription pain relievers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and more, that interact with opioid receptors in the brain and nervous system to relieve pain. In 2015, there were approximately 300 million pain prescriptions written resulting in annual worldwide sales of approximately $24 billion.

    It has been widely reported in media across North America that the misuse of opioids has created a massive addiction epidemic. It is estimated that in 2015, more than 33,000 people died from overdoses of prescription pain medications in the United States alone. It has also been reported that opioids kill more people annually than car accidents and guns, and that such pain medications are the leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States.

    The opioid epidemic is facilitated by the fact that tablet forms of opioid medications are easily crushed into a powder and snorted, smoked, or liquefied and injected by drug users. RSI believes it has an effective solution to this widespread and growing problem. Encapsulating opioid pain medications in the company’s novel hydrogel beads would effectively prevent opioid medications from being separated from the encapsulate material and being crushed into a powdered form for use by drug dealers and users.

    The hydrogel beads can be placed into larger capsules or hermetically sealed pouches for proper dosing and oral delivery to the intended patient. In addition to indicating the dosage, the pouches can be individually coded to provide critical information such as tracking date, manufacture location, lot number, and, most importantly, prescribing physician identity. This data provides additional disincentives for practitioners to carelessly overprescribe opioids as well as a mechanism for identifying black market offenders.

    Another advantage of RSI’s hydrogel technology is its ability to “bypass” drug delivery in the stomach. The hydrogels travel through the stomach intact until they reach the small intestine. The delayed delivery eliminates many undesirable side effects of opioid drugs and other medicines that are taken orally, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, and the partial or complete destruction of medications due to stomach acids and/or enzymatic action.

    The composition of the novel hydrogel technology is naturally derived, nontoxic, and has no effect on the efficacy of the medicine being delivered. Conversely, data suggests the hydrogel beads may actually make the drug or medicine more efficient and effective, thereby reducing the amount of medication needed for the intended results. Furthermore, the chemistry of the hydrogels can be adjusted so that they move more slowly as they travel through the small intestine, thereby creating a better method of extended time release.

    There are numerous potential applications for the RSI hydrogel technology, including medications that cause stomach upset and nausea; medications with an unpleasant taste or odor to humans or animals; and medicines, dietary supplements, and probiotics that are often destroyed or degraded in the stomach due to stomach acids and/or enzymatic action. The hydrogels can be delivered in capsules as well as edible treats or hermetically sealed disposable pouch style straws. At 300 microns, the miniscule size of the hydrogels makes them easy to swallow with or without water.

    “Our core mission is to improve people’s lives through scientific technology,” says Gregg Webster, CEO of RSI. “Solving major problems requires new creative thinking and tenacity.”

    For more information concerning this new technology, contact G. Webster via email at gwebster@responsescientific.com.