Can a single pill treat problems of high blood pressure, reduce cholesterol level and act as a blood thinner? Seems like this may be possible soon. In one of the largest clinical trials being conducted for the first time, the impact of the ‘wonder drug’ is being assessed across 20 cities in India.
The trials of the drug ‘polypack’ manufactured by Cadila Pharmaceuticals are being conducted on 2,000 subjects, between the age of 45 and 80 years, who have any one of the risk factors – age, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high blood sugar.
The ‘polypack’ contains a combination of five drugs in eight different formulations (three blood pressure lowering agents, an antiplatelet drug, a beta blocker, an ACE inhibitor, a diuretic and a statin) for treating cardio-vascular conditions such as reducing blood pressure and lowering cholesterol levels.
Simply put, the polypack includes blood pressure lowering combinations, aspirin (blood thinner) and a statin, which is a cholesterol lowering agent.
The trials are being conducted by St John Research Institute, Bangalore and Canada-based Population Health Research Institute.
“We need to assess the impact (efficacy) of the different combinations on an individual who has cardio-vascular risk factors, and also the safety of these drugs taken together. The side-effects of the five medicines will also be studied,” says Dr Rajeev Gupta of Fortis Hospital, Jaipur who is involved in the study.
The subjects will be given the combination drug for three months and a follow up will be done in the fourth month. The trials will be completed by July and findings put together by end of the year.
The second phase of trials will assess whether heart attacks and strokes can be prevented with the combination drug, Gupta added.
Cardiovascular diseases are major causes of mortality in the Indian subcontinent, causing over 30% of deaths. It has been predicted that these diseases will increase rapidly and India will contribute to over half the cases of heart diseases in the world within the next 15 years.
Coronary heart disease and stroke have increased in both urban and rural areas. The sharp rise in cardiovascular problems including heart disease and stokes is attributed to increasing number of smokers, obesity with high waist to hip ratio, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stress and sedentary lifestyle.
Sources: The Times Of India