Heart attacks and strokes could be cut by half through the use of a ‘polypill’, which contains a mixture of five different drugs, research has said.
Scientists found that if the ‘magic bullet’ pill, called Polycap, was given to a population of healthy adults with just one factor, like raised blood pressure, smoking or obesity, the number of cardiovascular problems, including strokes and heart attacks, could plummet.
Professor Malcolm Law, from the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine in London, said a polypill would be more affordable and could reduce the cost of doctors’ appointments, blood and cholesterol tests, and treatment.
‘These drugs are off-patent and cost pennies,’ said Professor Law. ‘You might be talking in terms of 50p a day. There’s no way its going to drain resources,’ he said.
The researchers in India did not look at death rates, but it was the most in depth study of the pill to date. More than 2,000 people aged between 40 and 80 were studied.
Each year almost 200,000 Britons are killed by diseases in the heart and arteries. One in five of all deaths before age 75 in men and 10% in women are due to cardiovascular disease.