WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. Monday, March 21, 2011 For a patient at high risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), keeping up with what pills to take at different times of the day can be tedious. Window sills lined with prescription bottles a pill for cholesterol, another for blood pressure, and an aspirin to keep blood thin and flowing the list can get quite long and, as a result, many people, especially the elderly, often forget doses or take the wrong pill at the wrong time.
But what if there was a single pill that had all the benefits of multiple medications in one dose? Would people take it? Would doctors prescribe it? And would it be effective?
A new study done by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center provides evidence that, in fact, such a pill may be a viable option for developing countries, where CVD is strongly emerging and the demand for cost-effective, low maintenance treatment is high.
"The idea behind the polypill is that it offers a simpler way to give medications to people so that they will have better adherence to their pills," said Elsayed Z. Soliman, M.D., M.Sc., M.S., director of the Epidemiological Cardiology Research Center (EPICARE) at Wake Forest Baptist and lead author on the study. "It's not always easy for people to consistently take multiple pills, even if they are needed to treat a serious condition, like CVD. This is especially true in developing countries, where cost of CVD medications is another major challenge. This one pill has the potential to improve adherence while being less costly to the population in developing countries."
To adopt the polypill approach in developing countries, a large scale clinical trial is needed, Soliman added. However, before conducting such a trial, research was needed to see if it was even possible to conduct a clinical trial in a developing country.
Going into this study, there were many perceived barriers to doing research in a developing coun
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Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center