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"Single pill combining five heart drugs appears safe"


Source: CTV.CA

Published: 30 Mar 2022

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (1 star)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

Imagine if people at risk of heart disease could take a single pill that would contain all the medications they need to reduce their heart risk. Such a pill is already a reality and now new research suggests it's safe and effective.

It's called a polypill and could soon become a cheap, simple way to prevent both heart disease and stroke...

The original article can be found at:

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 2 of 10
Availability of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Not Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

This story delivers a hyped conclusion on the basis of very poor evidence. While the report characterized the drug as a "lifesaver", the evidence to support this claim was presented in relative values and only related to surrogate markers as opposed to clinical markers (such as effects on heart attach or stroke). The readers comments following the article give some insight into its impact, with people clamoring for such a pill. It would have been helpful for the author to comment on the polypill availability and heavily emphasize that it is still in the preliminary research phase.

The article provided little information on the study design. Accessing the published paper and study results reveals that it was a double-blind study which only followed patients for 12-weeks. The shortness of the trials warrants a more extensive discussion of the limitations of the research findings. One would have to ask if it is premature to say the drug is "safe and effective" especially if taken over years and years?

The entire concept of mixing different compounds into one pill is very poor medicine. It doesn't permit physicians to customize the dose for specific patients depending on the patient's specific risk factors. Without any data on the impact of real and non-anecdotal outcomes (like rates of heart attack and stroke) patients should be cautious when considering the use of this polypill- that is, of course assuming it will hit the Canadian market.

public forum

(07 Jul 2022) Elite Health from Square One writes,

"This would really help heart patients and stroke patients to recover at the time of emergency. As many people are dying only because of heart and stroke attacks, some noteworthy steps like this creating a pill to thwart heart attacks and strokes might be a boon for them who are on the verge of facing a heart attack. But sometimes people fail to understand and recognize the indications of pre-heart attack symptoms. Sometimes, a little knowledge regarding the immediate actions to be taken may help your near and dear ones to survive in such incidents. The response a person takes to treat a victim decides the probability of his/her survival. It's been my personal experience fighting to survive against a heart attack. Because of having many heart problems, I was enrolled in a concierge Healthcare program from elite health. I was attacked by a severe heart attack in a party, luckily surrounded by many people. Some of the sudden changes in my body was recognized by me and anticipated immediately. I got a very severe chest pain which was almost unbearable for more than a minute. I got the suspicion that I might be having heart attack, and immediately called my physician on the phone, and explained my condition and its severity. Because of the immediate guidance, I was directed immediately to have an aspirin which I used to carry with me as prescribed by my physician. It was quite a frightening experience for me to face such a heart attack, but somehow I managed to be calm until 911 arrived. I was immediately taken to the nearest hospital, where already my physician were present and have got everything setup according to my medical history. And it was in some matter of seconds that everything was in control. A doctor, who already have the complete knowledge of the medical history and fitness of the person, extra ordinarily ameliorate your recovery process. Hence such a concierge level program from Elite health, helped me a save my life, like many others."

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