March 30, 2009

"Polypill" made from 5 drugs may cut heart & stroke disease

The WebMD article I just read is upbeat about a new 5-in-1 pill that may be effective without costing much.  Is that even thinkable in today's world?

  WebMD's Charlene Raimo writes:

A "polypill" combining five heart drugs -- three blood-pressure-lowering drugs, a cholesterol-lowering statin drug, and aspirin -- is safe and works as well as any of the medications alone, researchers report.

The single capsule, taken just once a day, has the potential to slash the average person's risk of heart disease and stroke by about half, says study researcher Salim Yusuf, MD, of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

"Since each component of the polypill can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by 25%, [it's reasonable to expect that] you can get at least twice that improvement with five components," he tells WebMD.

"Also, the drug will be inexpensive, as all five of its components are available in generic form," says James Stein, MD, a heart specialist at University of Wisconsin.

Other experts recommend, instead, changed lifestyle approaches and remind readers that a combination pill may not have the same effect on all groups of people.

See full story here.

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