Inventures: Sac State roommates fight prescription drug abuse with invention

1:02 AM, Jul 19, 2013   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

LINCOLN, CA - They're high school buddies, college roommates and frat brothers; now, they've joined forces to fight prescription drug abuse.

Nathan Langley and Joseph Simpson invented the Locking Cap, which is the first and only combination locking cap for prescription medication bottles. It's designed to keep kids from getting their hands on prescription drugs.

"The big issue right now is children and teens," Nathan said. "They can go into their parents medicine cabinets and take a couple of pills and nobody notices."

Langley just graduated from Sac State while Simpson still has four classes to go.

The idea behind the Locking Cap sparked in 2009 when Langley and Simpson were college roommates and frat brothers.

"Once day he had all these locks broken up around the house and I was like, what do you got going on around here?" Langley recounted.

Simpson explained his concept for the Locking Cap, an idea which hit close to home for him.

"Prescription drug abuse really tore my family apart," Simpson said.

His younger brother Stephen had become addicted to his mother's painkillers, prescribed to her after she had gotten into a bad car accident. He was 15 or 16 years old at the time.  

"I had easy access to my mom's medication," Stephen explained.

It took Stephen four years to get help. Now 23, he is sober and working with his brother's company.

For now, the Locking Cap is assembled at the Simpson's childhood home. Their team is made up of their high school buddies.

The Locking Cap just secured a nationwide distribution agreement with Cardinal Health. It can be bought at Ralph's, Savemart, Lucky's and online.

"This is going to help other families from experiencing what my family had to experience," Simpson said.

"I really don't want anybody to go through what I had to go through," Stephen added.

It appears to be on its way to making a difference. The Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence recently selected the Locking Cap as a top five technology to reduce prescription drug abuse in the United States.

If you know of a great story of innovation or risk-taking, let us know. You can email us at


Most Watched Videos