This site is intended for health professionals only

One-a-day pill trial is launched

Researchers are looking for 2,000 volunteers to take part in an international trial to see if a one-a-day "polypill" containing several drugs can reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke.

Aspirin, blood pressure-lowering medicines and statin, which cuts down cholesterol, are all included in the "polypill". Such tablets were found by a trial in India in 2009 to halve heart attack and stroke rates.

The Use of a Multidrug Pill In Reducing cardiovascular Events (UMPIRE) trial has been launched at Imperial College in London. Test patients are also being sought in Ireland and Holland, and the process has already started in Australia and New Zealand.

People who are at high risk of stroke or heart attack, or who have already suffered one, are needed by the research team to test the Red Heart Pill drug.

Professor Simon Thom, co-principal investigator of the study from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College, said: "Polypills are being used successfully to treat other diseases like tuberculosis and HIV, but we don't yet know whether they could be effective in those with cardiovascular problems."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

Imperial College London