Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Trial of daily polypill to protect heart begins (UK)
The first trial of a 'polypill' for the over-50s is being launched in Britain today. The tablet, to be taken daily, combines several low dose drugs that could help protect against heart attacks and strokes. The idea of the pill, which is hoped will cut cholesterol and blood pressure, thus saving lives, was first conceived in 2003 by Professor Sir Nicholas Ward and Prof Malcolm Law from the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at Queen Mary University, London. Professors Ward and Law hope the trial will pave the way for anybody over 50 to buy cheaply from a pharmacy within a couple of years. The pill is being made by the Indian generics company Cipla. It contains simvastatin to lower cholesterol and three drugs in small does to reduce blood pressure – losartan, hydrochlorthiazide and amlodopine. The pill does not contain aspirin because of the side effects some people experience after taking it.