Global four-in-one polypill trial to commence

Researchers are set to explore whether a new, very low cost, one-a-day combined ‘polypill’ could reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular problems across the world, in a major new international trial that launches this week in India and Europe.

Cardiovascular disease is the world’s biggest killer and the leading cause of loss of healthy life years. The new ‘red heart pill’ contains low-dose aspirin, a statin and two blood pressure-lowering medicines in a single polypill. It is expected to be substantially cheaper than existing medications to combat cardiovascular problems.

The George Institute in India, with the Public Health Foundation of India and other collaborators will oversee the project in India - where the impact of such an affordable treatment could benefit many. In India, 80% of healthcare is paid out of pocket and the majority of people do not currently have access to cardiovascular drugs.

“In an area of the world where rates of cardiovascular disease are rapidly increasing, reliable evidence about the effectiveness of new strategies to provide cost-effective preventative therapies to those at greatest risk are urgently required.  We believe this trial will provide such evidence for a ‘polypill’-based strategy”, said Associate Professor, Anushka Patel, The George Institute.

Parallel polypill projects are already underway in Australia and New Zealand. Collectively these parallel trials will include around 7,000 participants in ten countries and can thereby evaluate the potential of the polypill treatment strategy to prevent cardiovascular events.