Innovative Partnership Keeps Powerful Medications in the Right Hands

“Safer Lock abuse-deterrent combination locking cap and medication bottle”
Echelon Distribution and Safer Lock join forces to keep Veterans’ powerful medications in the right hands

Sacramento, California – September 19, 2017 – Echelon Distribution, a Sacramento-based, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and a member of Disabled Veteran Business Alliance, is partnering with Safer Lock™ to provide abuse-deterrent products to the Department of Defense (DoD). This partnership represents a powerful pre-emptive strike to help prevent the diversion of medications that have a potential for abuse. 

The misuse of prescription pain medications contributes substantially to the nation’s opioid epidemic which kills 144 Americans every day. The vast majority of misused medications are stolen from the family medicine cabinet.  Between 2014 and 2016, Veterans Administration (VA) doctors wrote 29 million scripts for controlled substances, creating an environment of vulnerability for Veterans. Older Vets are at particular risk: Many suffer from chronic pain, which is shown to contribute to higher rate of suicide among this group.  Retaining access to their pain medication could literally be a matter of life and death.     

Legislation creates opportunities for veteran-owned business

A 2017 addendum to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) requires the DoD to test the effectiveness of locking devices to prevent the diversion of opioids and other controlled substances. The DoD recently issued an RFI to review products to meet the requirements of this legislation. The United States Government has earmarked $5B in contract funds for veteran-owned organizations in 2017.  Echelon Distribution is tapping into the strength of their existing relationships with the VA as they respond to the RFI in partnership with Safer Lock.

About Safer Lock and Echelon Distribution

Safer Lock is a patented 4-digit combination locking cap that fits many pharmaceutical vials currently used by the Department of Defense in clinics and mail order pharmacies.  Patients create and set their own combinations from 10,000 possibilities. Only that combination can open a bottle secured with a Safer Lock. This keeps non-patients from pilfering medication without detection. Safer Lock is headquartered in Sacramento, California.

Echelon Distribution provides affordable, top- quality supplies and equipment to meet the needs of state, federal and private organizations. Echelon was founded by Steve Nodes, a 19-year veteran of the US Air Force.

Safer Lock and Echelon Distribution were brought together by Dave Hornbeck, President of Global Blue Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) and member of the Board of Directors for the Disabled Veteran Business Alliance. While setting up incubator space where veteran-owned companies can grow and prosper, Dave collaborated with tech accelerator Valley Extends, giving Veterans’ companies access to unique technologies and offering technology companies a new way to sell.  The partnership between Safer Lock and Echelon represents DBVE’s initial collaboration.

Dave experienced multiple spinal injuries during his service in the Marine Corps and is acutely aware of the risks posed by opioid medications. Dave sees the Safer Lock as an essential product for the VA and the Department of Defense: “The timing is perfect for Safer Lock.  While opioid misuse is highlighted in the news, it is equally as important that vets who need their medication protect it from loss.  In the event the medication is diverted, a patient cannot get a new prescription to replace their lost meds.  Safer Lock can keep the medication in the hands of the right person.”

With the DoD mandate to procure services and products from disabled veteran-owned businesses, this partnership is poised for impact and success.

To request a media sample of the Safer Lock or for additional information, contact Susan King at or 916 765-4479.

Media Contact
Company Name: Gatekeeper Innovation
Contact Person: Susan King
Phone: 916 765-4479
Address:4200 North Freeway Blvd., Suite 2
City: Sacramento
State: CA 95834
Country: United States