The SPACE group includes collaborators conducting or planning a series of clinical trials of a polypill strategy for cardiovascular disease prevention. The polypill being evaluated in these trials is the Red Heart Pill made by Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (Hyderabad, India).
The polypill is a single capsule containing four different medicines: a cholesterol lowering medication, two blood pressure lowering medications and aspirin. These medicines are recommended as preventive treatment for people who have survived a heart attack or stroke and for people who are at high risk of such a problem. Currently many people do not benefit from appropriate preventive medicines. This is particularly true in developing countries where access and cost present difficult barriers.
Three trials have reported their results (see below for links to the publications):
- The IMPACT trial in New Zealand (funded by the New Zealand Health Research Council)
- The UMPIRE trial (funded by the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme – 1004 participants in Europe (UK, Ireland and The Netherlands), 1000 patients in India)
- The Kanyini-GAP trial in Australia (funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, 623 patients from both indigenous and non-indigenous populations)
Each trial aimed to evaluate the impact of the polypill treatment strategy on adherence to preventive medication in the varying settings of several different healthcare systems. A key question about the polypill is whether patients and prescribers will adopt it with enthusiasm.
An individual patient data meta-analysis has been completed and is currently under review for publication.