1 Jul 2010

Combined heart disease pill to be tested

4:59 pm on 1 July 2010

Auckland University is testing a heart disease pill that combines four different medicines into one capsule.

Researchers will trial the capsule, known as a polypill, in a study of 600 people at high risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

Lead researcher Raina Elley says she hopes the pill will make it easier for people to take their correct dosage of medication. It could also cut the cost of treatment from $12 per prescription to $3, she says.

Ms Elley says the polypill combines aspirin, a cholesterol-lowering medication and two medicines that lower blood pressure.

It has already been tested for side-effects in people who don't have heart disease, but this is the first trial in its target market.

Three hundred people in the study will continue using the separate medications while another 300 take the polypill. The results will be combined with those from similar trials overseas.