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eXoid: Decreasing New Initiates to Prescription Opioid Abuse

Team Members:
  • Shriya Awasthi
  • Miguel Dias
  • Kriti Jindal
  • Noemie Keller
  • Momin Mohis
  • Neil Rens
  • Micah Shaffer
  • Brooke Stephanian
  • Myron Yaster, MD
  • Elizabeth Logsdon, PhD
  • John Lewin, PharmD
  • Katherine Vorvolakos, PhD
  • Caleb Alexander, MD
  • Robert Allen, PhD
  • Nicholas Durr, PhD
  • Youseph Yazdi, PhD, MBA


There are over 16,000 deaths annually from prescription drug overdose, resulting in over $72 billion in costs for medical providers, insurers, and the government. The lack of disposal methods for excess prescription opioid pills is a key contributor to what the CDC says is an epidemic of painkiller abuse. 65% of new initiates to nonmedical prescription drug use obtain their pills from friends or family. This is made possible by the over-dispensing of opioids with ⅔of these pills left unused by the patient to whom they are prescribed. Most existing solutions, such as Naloxone, focus on patients who are already addicted to opioids. However, this is corrective rather than preventative; such solutions do not prevent new initiates to abuse nor do they address the risks associated with users leaving their pills unattended long after the prescription expires. While there are some opioid deactivation products on the market, users must purchase them separately from their pills (often at another location). Users must actively and voluntarily acquire these products, an investment of time and money, and then carefully follow multistep instructions to successfully deactivate their pills.

DTX created an innovative pill bottle that automatically deactivates prescription opioids. After the prescription period ends, our product automatically mixes the pills with a solution that chemically deactivates the active compound in pills. The resulting mixture is safe to ingest or dispose of in the trash. We have refined and validated our deactivating solution and are currently working to integrate it with our low-cost, unobtrusive pill-bottle design. Once deployed, our pill bottle will contribute to curbing the epidemic of abuse by reducing the number of leftover pills vulnerable to abuse.

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