A drug that is a combination of four medicines which are given for heart ailments and strokes has been developed for the first time in the United States and completed initial tests. The drug aimed towards low income group has already worked well in countries that have limited access to healthcare. The pill made up of low doses of 3 BP drugs and 1 cholesterol drug has already been tested on a small group of 300 people within age group of 45–75 that were part of a community healthcare center located at Alabama. These were split into two equal group of which half were given the combo pill while half were asked to continue usual medication.
After a year when both groups were tested it was discovered that blood pressure of people in poly-pill group and also their bad cholesterol had reduced by meaningful level to more than the level of other group. Though the study was not long enough to gauge effect on heart attacks strokes, a similar test in Iran found that it reduced likelihood of stroke, heart attack and heart failure by one third. The Iran study was carried out on a large group of 6800 people over a period of 5 years.
But till data the concept of polypill was alien to United States and doctors here see little need of such combinations as they prefer to have tailor-made medication for patients. But they cannot customize medications by pharma companies due to lack of time and patients’ dislike of returning back. The details of this research study have been published this Wednesday in New England Journal of Medicine and it was funded by NIH and American Heart association. The people in this research group were earning less than $15,000 and were mostly black. After excluding people that were borderline blood pressure patients the researchers also excluded people with high cholesterol.