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Cardiovascular polypill 'overhyped'

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Treating cardiovascular disease with a single polypill is an “idea in danger of becoming a solution that’s desperately seeking a problem”, according to the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin.

Journalists and medical professionals are being seduced by “polypillomania”, in light of news that a new polypill combination will undergo a viability test, an editorial in the magazine claims.

The notion of needing just one pill, which would contain a statin and other drugs such as beta blockers, has had an apparent “magical” grip on people since it was first suggested back in 2003.

Polypill advocates argue that a combination of several drugs already proven to work well individually could prove cheaper and help people stick to treatment better. But the bulletin insists: “However, the reality turns out to be not so straightforward, not least because we seem to have moved into the world of poly-polypills.”

Trials have targeted different groups of people, contained different types and doses of constituent drugs, and measured different outcomes.

The bulletin said: “It would seem that the original concept of a simple solution to a common problem has mutated into testing an increasingly complex range of potential products for multiple patient populations.”

We’re going viral! Have you friends heard about the ‘seat on the board’ petition? Let’s ensure nurses are actively involved in the new commissioning consortia.

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