The results of the first POLYPILL trial have just been released in Plos ONE. The study was a randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled trial of a polypill in 378 individuals in different countries (UK, Australia, New Zealand, India, Brazil, USA, and the Netherlands), and showed that the pill alone is able to halve the predicted risk of heart disease and stroke. .
A team led by Professor Simon Thorn at Imperial College, London, is leading a larger trial, UMPIRE , which stands for “Use of a Multidrug Pill in Reducing cardiovascular Events” and aims to test whether or not the polypill strategy improves adherence to cardiovascular preventive medication. The trial has almost completed recruiting 2,000 participants in India and Europe and is almost under way.
The drugs contained in the polypill (aspirin, lisinopril, hydrochlorothiazide, and simvastatin) are currently prescribed separately to millions of patients and are known individually to cut the risk of disease, but many experts believe that combining them into a single pill will encourage people to take the medications more reliably. The whole polypill concept also emphasizes the shift of medicine towards prevention, instead of action.
With a spoonful of sugar, the polypill goes down, the polypill goes down, the polypill goes down..
See the original results published on Plos One here:
PILL Collaborative Group (2011) An International Randomised Placebo-Controlled Trial of a Four-Component Combination Pill (“Polypill”) in People with Raised Cardiovascular Risk. PLoS ONE 6(5): e19857. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019857