LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Jeffersontown, Ky. startup company is hoping its high-tech product can stop the growing problem of prescription drug abuse.

The company is PillGuard, located in the Bluegrass Commerce Park.

The product, called the PillGuard, is a combination computer and prescription drug dispenser.

The company's president is Bullitt County native Roger Hayes.

"PillGuard is a handheld, tamper evident, programmable pill dispenser that was designed to curb prescription drug abuse," said Hayes.

There is plenty of that across Kentucky and the nation. According to the Kentucky Attorney General's Office, more than 1,000 Kentucky residents die each year from prescription drug overdoses.

The overdose death rate in Kentucky is the third highest in the nation.

"Once the patient leaves the pharmacy, the patient has a PIN number; they have their medication, so they know the right patient has the right dose at the right time," explained Hayes.

The pharmacy fills the PillGuard like a regular prescription. Then the pharmacist programs the correct dosage and dispensing information into the unit.

The patient then has to enter the correct PIN at a designated time to get the correct medication.

The PillGuard has only been on the market since Labor Day.

"We are still in the pilot phase," said Hayes. "We will have some bugs to work out, so we are working with some local pharmacists in Louisville, southern Indiana, and in London, Ky."

The PillGuard is now manufactured in California, but plans call for production to be moved next year to Leitchfield, Ky. in Grayson County, about a 90-minute drive from Louisville.

The company now has 16 employees. By 2018, it hopes to grow that number to 150 workers.

PillGuard believes insurance companies would be willing to pick up the $70 cost of the product since it would reduce the soaring treatment costs from drug abusers.

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