Single-Pill strategy to beat cardiovascular diseases

  • In a major policy change, the WHO has recently included three fixed dose combinations of cardiovascular medicines or polypills 2023 for use in primary and secondary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases.
About Polypills:
  • Evidence from large randomised-controlled trials shows that use of the polypill is associated with reduced risks of cardiovascular events, including fatal and non-fatal myocardial infarction and stroke.
  • The polypill is thus an important low-cost public health intervention which can prevent over millions of cardiovascular events and deaths every year.
  • The polypill is not a new drug but a drug delivery mechanism, which improves medication adherence (because it is a single pill) and saves money by preventing hospitalisations.
  • One of the polypills that has been included in the EML is Polycap. This four-drug combination includes simvastatin, ramipril, atenolol, hydrochlorothiazide along with acetylsalicylic acid or aspirin.
Fixed Dose Combinations (FDC):
  • Fixed Dose Combinations refer to products containing one or more active ingredients used for a particular indication(s).
  • These FDCs combine two or more active drugs in a single dosage form, like a tablet or capsule.
Active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs):
  • APIs are the active components in a pharmaceutical drug that produce the required effect on the body to treat a condition. APIs are produced by processing chemical compounds.
  • APIs are broadly categorized into two types: synthetic and natural, synthetic drugs are processed in the labs to produce therapeutic effects unlike natural drugs which are found in nature.
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