Polypill could save 200,000 lives each year
An all-in-one pill which has been found to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes could be available in the UK with the next two years, it has been revealed.
The ‘polypill’ contains four different types of medicines and after ground breaking trials, scientists have estimated that it could save up to 200,000 lives each year if used widely.
Tested on a group of healthy people aged 50 and over, the medication was found to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels tothose that are typical to someone aged just 20.
Experts at the Queen Mary College, University of London, believe that if everybody aged over 50 was prescribed the pill somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000 deaths would be prevented.
Due to this, the scientists are calling for the pill be to be made available to the general public “without delay”.
Dr David Wald, who led the study, however said that regulatory hurdles would need to overcome first though and that practice could take up to two years.
He said: "The health implications of our results are large.
"If people took the polypill from age 50, an estimated 28 per cent would benefit by avoiding or delaying a heart attack or stroke during their lifetime; on average, those who benefit would gain 11 years of life without a heart attack or stroke."
The tests produced a 12 per cent reduction in a person’s blood pressure and 39 per cent fall in levels of “bad” cholesterol – also known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
The pill is made up of three drugs for lowering blood pressure and one which works as cholesterol-lowering statin.
It is expected to only cost a few hundred pounds each year on prescription.
The study’s findings can be found in the online One journal from the Public Library of Science.