Ed Rudnic discusses how DisposeRx is designed to work~
If you can form chemical bonds, that forms a chemical mesh, you get a tighter gel, a tighter mesh, that surrounds the drug and makes it impossible in this case, for the drug to leave. In this particular case, the way we developed this, if this is added to water and it crosslinks, as the water evaporates from the system over time, that net shrinks tighter and tighter around the drug and will not allow it to leave.
Brian Wilson: From a humble modest kitchen in Potomac, Maryland Dr. Ed Rudnic and four friends developed the chemical compounds that would one day be called DisposeRx. Dr. Rudnic joins us for a trip back to that kitchen and answers the burning question: What exactly are crosslinking copolymers?
Ed Rudnic: The other co-founder of the company, John Holaday, and I were both talking about a way to improve the safety of opioids in the household, in the medicine cabinet. The DEA will tell you that 80% of heroin addicts start by medicine that was either taken from their parents or other medicine cabinets, and so to be able to inactivate and dispose of those opioids really eliminates a problem. My background is very much in developing pharmaceutical products and inventing pharmaceutical products. I have a feel on the market. I’m also going way back into my scientific training, and I’ve got some pretty good material science background. So I know enough about materials and how they work, and I was able to come up with a bunch of powder, if you will, that will gel and crosslink and sequester the drug very, very quickly.
Brian Wilson: We’ve heard about crosslinking polymers. Maybe you can help us understand what that is.
Ed Rudnic Explains the Concept of Crosslinking Polymers Within DisposeRx Design
Ed Rudnic: Well, when you are trying to form a gel, what you’re trying to do is to get things to swell, to take water and imbibe them and swell. You can only get so far with just water absorption into something. If you can form bonds, chemical bonds, that forms a mesh, a chemical mesh right there, you get a tighter gel, a tighter mesh, if you will, that surrounds the drug and makes it much, much harder, if not impossible in this case, for the drug to leave. In this particular case, the way we developed this, if this is added to water and it crosslinks, as the water evaporates from the system over time, that net shrinks tighter and tighter around the drug and will not allow it to leave-
Brian Wilson: Until it’s just a piece of dried up glop.
Ed Rudnic: Yes. And, that glop won’t leave and leach into wastewater and landfills or anything else. Opioids are incredibly dangerous, very strong medicines that have a place in medicine, but when we’re talking about the abuse of them, when we’re talking about people taking vials full of these things, they are potentially lethal, not just dangerous. So, this sequesters the drugs, makes it much, much, much less absorbable, much less able to even get out even if you try very soon after it gelled up. It basically keeps the drug from harming the environment or the patient.
Brian Wilson: Let’s set the scene. You’ve had a conversation in which you realize there’s a problem and that you may have the knowledge to solve this problem, how to take drugs that are in the medicine cabinet that are dangerous and to make them not dangerous. So tell me a little bit about setting up in your kitchen in Potomac. Set the scene. I can’t imagine what was going on and how it all looked. So take me to that day, take me to that time.
DisposeRx – Initial Research, Materials and Lots of Testing
Ed Rudnic: We had a pretty good idea of what we wanted to accomplish functionally from the gel. There are certain materials that will gel carefully and crosslink under certain conditions. So we had to look through the FDA list for inactive ingredients for oral products. These are oral ingredients, inert ingredients that are used in tablets and capsules-
Brian Wilson: This is not something I would have in my garage. This is something you have to go out and seek.
Ed Rudnic: You would have to go out and seek, and we went and ordered these materials from manufacturers that supply these two large pharmaceutical companies. Fortunately, when you’re ordering small materials it’s usually sample sizes, is a kilo or two. We had another co-founder/inventor of ours, Marcus Schestopol, order the things that we wanted. Marcus came in and we carted in a few dozen drums of a couple of kilos of white powder into my wife’s kitchen, who was very understanding I have to tell you. We basically mixed these materials with a planetary mixer, so we had a Kitchen-Aid planetary mixer and-
Brian Wilson: This is like the same kind of thing you make a cake with?
Ed Rudnic: Absolutely. So, top chef kind of thing, and we mixed it up, and then there’s some pharmaceutical procedures on how you can divide, called blocking, dividing, and doing some things. We had electronic scales and we were able to precisely weigh materials that we had the right mixture. We mixed them. We had, I think, 100 or 200 vials, and we went through all sorts of different polymers and mixes and ratios and we measured the gelling time. We measured how firm the gel was, how firm it was an hour after, five hours after, and so we were able to pick the right formulation. We have since fine-tuned it since then, but-
Brian Wilson: But the basics of it happened right there in the kitchen.
Ed Rudnic: That’s right.
Brian Wilson: That’s amazing, and so who had to clean up?
Ed Rudnic: Me.
Announcer: You’re listening to Opioids: Hidden Dangers, New Hope. More when we return.
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You never threw them out, so they sit inside your medicine cabinet posing a risk to you, those around you and anyone who enters your home. Today going through medicine cabinets searching for drugs is done by people of all ages and backgrounds. In fact, over 70% of new opioid addictions begin in a home medicine cabinet. If storing unused and expired medications puts people at risk of accidental poisoning, addiction and death. Why have them there at all?
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Brian Wilson: Well, replicate for me what happened that day in the kitchen sink now that you have the final product here before you. Show me how it works.
How To Use DisposeRx, a Safe and Effective At Home Drug Disposal Solution
Ed Rudnic: Okay. We have a vial here.
Brian Wilson: Let’s shake that so we can hear it. It’s got some pills in it.
Ed Rudnic: Has some pills in it … and we would first add some water.
Brian Wilson: You’re filling it up about two-thirds of the vial-
Ed Rudnic: About two-thirds, sure, and then we would open the packet and simply pour the powder into the vial, recap the vial, shake.
Brian Wilson: Put it near the microphone.
Ed Rudnic: So if you’ll notice that you don’t hear the pills anymore. The tablets aren’t rattling around, and what you now have is a solid gel in about one minute.
Brian Wilson: Wow.
Ed Rudnic: This gel, you can see it’s-
Brian Wilson: About the consistency of toothpaste.
Ed Rudnic: And it will solidify more to the consistency of butter in about another minute-
Brian Wilson: All right, so let’s see. So I look at that, it looks like soft butter.
Ed Rudnic: Yeah. The idea is we didn’t want it to harden too fast because what we want is the drug to dissolve and disseminate into the gel and then have the gel basically tighten around it like a big tight mesh. If it hardens too fast, somebody could theoretically liberate the tablets from the gel. We want the tablets or capsules, and this is formulated for both, to break down over a short period of time, and then this solidifies and-
Brian Wilson: And so you take that. You put the cap back on. You toss it in the trash, you’re done.
Ed Rudnic: We’re done.
[You can view a DisposeRx Demonstration Video on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/7IPpQfH3bok]
Brian Wilson: And now, something that was incredibly dangerous, potentially addictive, something that could destroy the environment in many ways, has been completely made inert.
Ed Rudnic: That’s right
Brian Wilson: You don’t have to understand how DisposeRx is made to know that it works. In fact all you have to do is visit Disposerx.com to find out how easy it can be to dispose of your unwanted and unused medications. It’s the right thing to do for your family and friends, and it’s the right thing to do for the environment. Visit DisposeRx.com today.
Announcer: Thank you for listening to Opioids: Hidden Dangers, New Hope. Subscribe today where you get your podcast or visit opioids-hiddendangers-newhope.com for more information. This presentation is underwritten by DisposeRx.