Researchers and doctors have come up with ‘Polypill’, a single pill for all Cardiovascular Diseases-CVDs including stroke and high blood pressure. This will assist patients maintain a healthy heart and discard multiple pills.
Polypill is a combination drug containing statin, aspirin and two agents which lower blood pressure. Its trials conducted across India and Europe have been successful. Almost 28 institutes in India were part of this study including PGI-Chandigarh, AIIMS and George Institute for Global Health, India.
The plan was chalked out by Imperial College, London while pill-formulation was executed by Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories. Dr. Vivekanand Jha, Executive Director at George Institute for Global Health, India said that patients suffering from high blood-pressure require administration of multiple drugs to keep the condition under check. This increases compliance problems over a long span of time since many patients forget to take some pills.
In India, this compliance rate is as low as ten percent. He added that Poly pill will now take care of this issue. Dr.Jha said that using fixed-dose combination drugs like polypill for CVD patients who do not adhere to medications over a long-term can overcome the problem. The study showed improvement in ‘adherence rate’ by twenty percent in patients using polypill.
The study was funded by ‘Seventh Framework Program’, a European Commission project. Approximately 2,004 subjects with an average age of 62 years and high CVD risk participated in the study across India and Europe between July2010 to July2011. Follow-up on trails ended in July2012. At the end of trials conducted on 1921 participants over 15 months, 86.3 percent or 829 participants who were given polypill continued taking medication while only 64.7 percent or 621 participants given multiple pills continued their medication.The only limitation was, if any component of the polypill caused adverse effects, the drug had to be discontinued.
Prof. D. Prabhakaran, Executive Director at Centre for Chronic Disease Control said that this study dispelled myths about polypill. Despite using older drugs in fixed doses, Poly pill improved cholesterol level and blood pressure only because the patients surveyed continued taking recommended medication regularly.