Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s has developed the world’s first ‘polypill’ that is expected to cut risk of heart disease and stroke by 60 per cent. It is a combination of four drugs — a cholesterol-lowering statin, two blood-pressure medicines, and blood-thinning aspirin — all of which are independently used to treat cardiovascular disease and stroke. It is in the final stages of clinical trials and is expected to hit the market in the third quarter of next year.
However, leading cardiologists cautioned the polypill may not work for everyone. “It has certain deficiencies. It assumes a fixed dose regimen for treating everyone but the fact is everyone’s response differs. The side-effects are dose-related. This is a combination of active drugs that can have dangerous side-effects like the weakening of muscles and liver disorders,” said Dr Ashok Seth of Max Devki Devi Heart & Vascular Institute.
The polypill is meant only for those who are at high risk of heart disease and stroke and is not yet recommended as a mass prescription pill for everyone over 55 years. Project coordinator at Dr Reddy’s, Raghu Cidambi, however, said the side-effects are no more or different than that from the individual drugs.