Title:
Medication container holder
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A medication container holder for holding at least one medication container includes at least one base having a forward end and a rear end with the base being slanted upwardly from the forward end to the rear end, and each base comprising a plurality of spaced-apart medication container holding spaces for removably holding a medication container. The plurality of medication container holding spaces are arranged successively beginning from the forward end to the rear end of the base, and adapted so that each of the successive medication containers placed in the spaced-apart medication container holding spaces formed by the slanted base is elevated relative to the preceding medication container held in a preceding medication container holding space to yield a tiered arrangement. The bases may employ an interlocking mechanism to enable bases to be removably attached to each other.



Inventors:
Coe, Matthew T. (Annandale, NJ, US)
Costa, Richard (Bedminster, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/327204
Publication Date:
07/12/2007
Filing Date:
01/06/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/528, 206/570
International Classes:
A47B91/00; B65D69/00; B65D85/42
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
STEPHENS III, JOSE S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Allen R. Kipnes, Esq. (Princeton Junction, NJ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A medication container holder for holding at least one medication container, comprising: at least one base having a forward end and a rear end with the base being slanted upwardly from the forward end to the rear end; and each base comprising a plurality of spaced-apart medication container holding spaces for removably holding a medication container, said plurality of medication container holding spaces arranged in sequence beginning from the forward end to the rear end of the at least one base, and adapted so that each of the successive medication containers placed in the spaced-apart medication container holding spaces formed by the at least one base is elevated relative to the preceding medication container held in a preceding medication container holding space to yield a tiered arrangement.

2. The medication container holder of claim 1 further comprising interlocking means for removably interlocking a base to another base.

3. The medication container holder of claim 1 further comprising a timing assembly operatively associated with the base for alerting the user of the time to take medication contained in one of the at least one medication container.

4. The medication container holder of claim 3 wherein the timing assembly further comprises a timer capable of being set to a predetermined time interval when a medication should be taken, and an alert mechanism for notifying the user of the lapsing of the predetermined time interval.

5. The medication container holder of claim 4 further comprises a reset mechanism for resetting the timer upon removal of the medication container as indicative of the user taking the medication.

6. The medication container holder of claim 6 wherein the reset mechanism is configured to be activated by the user upon taking the medication.

7. The medication container holder of claim 1 wherein the medication container holding spaces are in the form of a cylinder.

8. The medication container holder of claim 1 comprising a single base.

9. The medication container holder of claim 1 wherein each base comprises three spaced-apart medication container holding spaces.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to medication container holders, and more particularly to a medication container holder adapted for holding a plurality of containers in a tiered or stepped arrangement that enhances visibility and access of the containers to the user, while providing a neat and orderly appearance.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Increasing numbers of patients are prescribed with multiple medications during the course of their medical treatments. Such patients especially the elderly often inadvertently skip dosages either because they forget to take or misplace the medication container containing the corresponding medication. Multiple medication containers can also present a cluttered appearance that can confuse the patient or make it difficult to retrieve the desired container without knocking over the other containers. The patient's ability to take the medications properly in a safe manner may thus be affected.

Accordingly, it would be highly desirable to develop a medication container holder for accommodating and holding one or more medication containers in close proximity to one other to promote an orderly and neat appearance, while enhancing the visibility of each of the individual medication containers, and allowing the user to more easily identify and grasp a selected medication container from the holder. It would be further desirable to provide a medication container holder designed to remind the user when to take the medication contained in the medication container in a simple and convenient manner.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is generally directed to medication container holders designed to accommodate and hold one or more medication containers in a neat and orderly arrangement and provide the user with enhanced visibility and access to the medication containers. The medication container holder of the present invention includes a base having a front end and a rear end, and at least one, and typically a plurality of medication container holding spaces that are each configured to removably hold a medication container, and are adapted to maintain each successive medication container at an elevated position relative to the preceding medication container. As a result, the medication containers accommodated by the medication container holder of the present invention are maintained in a tiered or stepped arrangement which improves visibility of each of the individual medication containers, and allows the user to more easily identify a desired medication container and to grasp the desired medication container from the holder.

The medication container holder of the present invention may also provide for an interlocking assembly enabling a plurality of bases to interlock with each other to thereby vary the overall capacity of the holder to accommodate a greater number of medication containers as required by the user. The medication container holder of the present invention may further include an optional timer assembly useful for notifying the user at predetermined time intervals when to take the medication contained in the medication containers.

In one aspect of the present invention, there is provided a medication container holder, comprising:

at least one base having a forward end and a rear end with the base being slanted upwardly from the forward end to the rearward end; and

each base comprising a plurality of spaced-apart medication container holding spaces for removably holding a medication container, the plurality of medication container holding spaces arranged in sequence beginning from the forward end to the rear end of the at least one base, and adapted so that each of the successive medication containers placed in the spaced-apart medication container holding spaces formed by the at least one base is elevated relative to the preceding medication container held in a preceding medication container holding space to yield a tiered arrangement.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The following drawings are illustrative of embodiments of the present invention and are not intended to limit the invention as encompassed by the claims forming part of the application.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a medication container holder for one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the medication container holder of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top elevational view of the medication container holder of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the medication container holder of FIG. 1 with a plurality of medication containers placed into the holder in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 5 is bottom perspective view of a plurality of bases assembled together to form another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is top perspective view of the embodiment of FIG. 5 with the medication container holders arranged in an interlocked side-by-side arrangement in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a timing assembly for the medication container holder of FIG. 5 in accordance with the present invention; and

FIG. 8 is an exploded assembly view of the medication container holder of FIG. 7.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is generally directed to medication container holders that provide enhanced visibility and access for convenient holding of medication containers. The medication container holder of the present invention includes at least one base having a front end and a rear end with a plurality of medication container holding spaces disposed in the base for removably holding a medication container. The plurality of medication container holding spaces are arranged successively upwardly beginning from the front end to the rear end. The plurality of medication container holding spaces are each further configured to hold a medication container at an elevated position relative to the preceding medication container held in a preceding medication container holding space located closer to the front end of the base. In this manner, the medication containers are arranged in a tiered or stepped layout to improve visibility of the medication containers, and to allow the user to more easily identify and retrieve a selected medication container from the holder.

The base of the medication container holder of the present invention may further include an interlocking mechanism to enable a plurality of bases to be assembled into a interlocking arrangement, preferably removable interlocking arrangement thereby allowing the user to vary the holding capacity of the medication container holder as required. As used herein the term “removable: or “ removable interlocking arrangement” or related term shall mean that the bases can be connected together, then separated from each other and then connected again to enable the formation of the device with multiple bases. The medication container holder of the present invention may further include an optional timer assembly operatively associated with the base, and configured for alerting the user of the time to take the medication contained in the medication containers.

Referring to FIGS. 1 to 3, a medication container holder 2 is shown for one embodiment of the present invention. The medication container holder 2 includes a single base 4 having a front end 6 and a rear end 8. The base 4 further includes a plurality of medication container holding spaces 10 successively disposed therein and extending from the front end 6 to the rear end 8 thereof. The medication container holding spaces 10 are suitably dimensioned for receiving and removably holding a medication container 12 (as best shown in FIG. 4). The plurality of medication container holding spaces 10 may be arranged in a linear or staggered layout.

Each medication container holding space 10 includes a container receiving area 14 defined by a floor portion 16 and a sidewall portion 18 extending therearound. The size and shape of the container receiving area 14 is suitably dimensioned to accommodate the medication container 12. It will be understood that the layout of the medication container holding spaces, the shape and size of the container receiving area, and the number of the medication container holding spaces is not limited to the embodiments disclose herein. As shown specifically herein the invention is exemplified with respect to the common cylindrically shaped pill container normally dispensed by medical facilities such as pharmacies. The medication container holder 2 may be composed of any suitable material including plastic, and preferably molded plastic.

The medication container holder 2 may be formed from a single base 4 or assembled from a plurality of bases 4 interlocked, preferably removably, with one another to form a single unitary product. The base 4 of the medication container holder 2 includes an optional interlocking tab 20 located on a side portion thereof. The interlocking tab 20 enables a plurality of bases 4 to be assembled into an interlocking cluster arrangement as will be further described hereinafter. This modular feature of the base 4 allows the holding capacity of the medication container holder 2 to be readily varied or modified as desired.

The medication container holder 2 may further include a timing assembly 22 containing a reset button 24 with a built-in light source (not shown) for notifying the user of the time to take the medication contained in the medication containers 12. The timing assembly 22 may be programmable for a predetermined time interval (e.g., 24 hour interval or 4 hour interval). Upon the lapsing of the predetermined time interval, the timing assembly 22 activates the light source of the reset button 24 to alert the user to take the medication. Upon receiving the alert, the user may remove the corresponding medication container 12, and take the medication. The user thereafter returns the medication container 12 to the medication container holding space 10, and activates the reset button 24 to restart the timing assembly 22 for the next dosage to be taken.

Referring to FIG. 4, the medication container holder 2 in the present embodiment includes three medication container holding spaces 10 for accommodating three medication containers 12. As shown in FIG. 4, the medication containers are the same shape and size. However, the medication container holder can contain spaces 10 of different shapes and/or sizes to accommodate medication containers which differ in shape and/or size.

The medication containers 10 are lowered into the corresponding medication container holding space 10, and supported by the floor portion 16 of the container receiving area 14 with each medication container 12 raised at an elevated position relative to the preceding medication container 12 nearer to the front end 6 of the base 4 to provide a corresponding tiered arrangement. The tiered arrangement of the medication containers 12 greatly enhances the visibility of the individual medication containers 12 to the user. The tiered arrangement of the medication containers 12 further allows the medication containers 12 to be retained in close proximity to one another to provide a compact grouping that is neat and orderly in appearance and function, while improving access of each of the medication containers 12.

Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, the base 4 of the medication container holder 2 further includes a sidewall 28 with a notched portion 26 on the opposing side thereof from the interlocking tab 20. The sidewall 28 and the notched portion 26 are adapted to cooperate with the interlocking tab 20 of an adjacent base 4 for facilitating an interlocking engagement between the adjacent bases 4. As shown in FIG. 6, the bases 4 are removably interlocked with one another to yield a secure compact side-by-side arrangement. Additional bases 4 can be attached successively to the bases 4 at the ends of the medication container holder 2 correspondingly to increase the holding capacity of the medication container holder 2 as required.

Referring to FIG. 7, the timing assembly 22 includes the reset button 24 with the built-in light source (not shown), a timing control chip 32, a power source 34 connected to the control chip 32 and the light source (not shown), and a circuit board 30 for supporting the components thereon. The timing control chip 32 is programmed to electrically activate the light source (not shown) at the end of a predetermined time interval. The timing control chip 32 is responsive to the actuation of the reset button 24 and resets the predetermined time interval upon actuation of the reset button 24. The timing assembly 22 is not limited to the form disclosed herein, and may encompass a range of timing assemblies useful for notifying the user of the lapsing of a predetermined time interval as known to one skilled in the art. Referring to FIG. 8, the timing assembly 22 is fastened securely under the base 4 with the reset button extending through an opening 36 proximate the front end 6 of the base 4.

The foregoing discussion discloses and describes merely exemplary embodiments of the present invention. One skilled in the art will readily recognize from such discussion, and from the accompanying drawings and claims, that various changes, modifications and variations can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.