The polypill, containing 5 low-dose cardiovascular medicines in a single pill, has been described as an approach that could have a greater impact on the prevention of disease in the Western world than any other single intervention.
The polypill is 5-10 years away but a very similar option is available in New Zealand now. The NZ Polypack delivers the polypill medications in a single sachet instead of a pill.
The polypill concept
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in New Zealand, causing 40% of deaths. Use of the polypill could reduce mortality due to heart disease and strokes by 50- 80% and could enable a third of the population to live an average of 11-12 years longer. The treatment is cheap, with few side effects and based on data from hundreds of trials of the individual components.
The polypill aims to prevent cardiovascular deaths in people who are at risk, which is almost everyone in Western countries such as NZ. This is very different to what doctors currently do, which is treat problems such as high blood pressure after they occur.