Polypill solves all problems

It’s on the news again, a 5 in 1 pill that can cut heart attack and stroke risks by 60-80% (depending on who you read) if taken once a day.

Imagine 5 generic drugs in one pill. Brilliant? The pill will contain asprin, a generic statin (presumably simvistatin), 3 blood pressure medication (my guess is low dose hydrochlorothiazide, a generic ACEI, and probably a low dose beta blocker).

Lots of studies have been done and it sounds like a good idea. Compliance wouldn’t be an issue since people take it once a day. They tried coming out with this about 5 years ago, and it lost the PR battle.

Since they are all generic, this pill could cost a small amount. A month supply should be no more than $10-30 dollars at most.

Of course there are always the holier-than-thou “ethicists” that say that creating such a pill would reduce the emphasis on diet and exercise. (Cuz we all know that’s working!)

If you eat french fries, butter, heavy cream, and pancakes with loads of syrup everyday and pop a polypill… I’m afraid you will still have heart disease and end up with a stroke or heart attack. A pill isn’t a substitute for good habits. It may delay some things or offer some protection, but you are ultimately doing yourself in.

We’ll see how this pill goes this time around. Who will combine these drugs first and start marketing it? Will they try to make loads of money off it? Will the government start requiring that all people over 50 should be on it or else lose some tax/insurance benefits?