A Daily Pill That Contains Cocktail Of Heart Drugs Dramatically Slashes Cardiac Events. But Some Experts Are Doubtful.
Advocates say widely distributing the "polypills" -- a daily pill that contains a cocktail of heart-related generic drugs -- could globally cut cardiac by 60 to 80 percent. Critics of that strategy say it's dangerous and unethical to consider distributing heart drugs to patients whose risk factors haven't been assessed.
The New York Times:
This Daily Pill Cut Heart Attacks By Half. Why Isn’t Everyone Getting It?
Giving people an inexpensive pill containing generic drugs that prevent heart attacks — an idea first proposed 20 years ago but rarely tested — worked quite well in a new study, slashing the rate of heart attacks by more than half among those who regularly took the pills. If other studies now underway find similar results, such multidrug cocktails — sometimes called “polypills” — given to vast numbers of older people could radically change the way cardiologists fight the soaring rates of heart disease and strokes in poor and middle-income countries. (McNeil, 8/22)
The Associated Press:
Cheap Combo Pill Cuts Heart, Stroke Risks, Study Finds
The pills contained two blood pressure drugs, a cholesterol medicine and aspirin. Many people can’t afford or don’t stick with taking so many medicines separately, so doctors think a polypill might help. A previous study testing one in India found it lowered cholesterol and blood pressure. The new study is much larger and gives stronger evidence because it tracked heart attacks, strokes and other problems — not just risk factors. (Cheng, 8/23)
Four-In-One Pill Prevents Third Of Heart Problems
"Given the polypill's affordability, there is considerable potential to improve cardiovascular health and to prevent the world's leading cause of death," said Dr Nizal Sarrafzadegan, of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran. The idea of the polypill has been around since 2001 but this is the first major trial to prove its effectiveness. (Gallagher, 8/23)