The cardiovascular polypill: Clinical data and ongoing studies

José M. Castellano, Héctor Bueno, Valentín Fuster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Cardiovascular risk modification in terms of comprehensive medical therapy (antithrombotic therapy, lipid-lowering therapy, antihypertensive medication) and lifestyle modification (healthy diet, regular exercise, weight loss, smoking cessation) is the cornerstone of secondary prevention. It is now clear that even in those undergoing PCI or bypass surgery, appropriate lifestyle modification and aggressive medical therapy are paramount for optimizing long-term outcomes. However, what has emerged from studies that examined the role of medical therapy in the context of coronary heart disease is that only ∼50% of the patients in these studies are achieving target treatment goals for blood pressure, lipid and glycemic control. Non-adherence is thought to be a very large contributor to this problem; across all health-care categories, non-adherence is estimated to account for $290 billion of annual health-care expenditure in the United States and €1.25 billion in European Union, with poor adherence to CVD medication accounting for 9% of all European CVD events. Socioeconomic factors may have a role in patients' discontinuing their medications, and a major initiative to combat this problem is the increasing focus on the polypill. The idea of combining numerous medications into a single tablet to reduce CV risk was first proposed more than a decade ago. This combined formulation not only significantly enhances patient convenience and adherence but also drives savings for the healthcare systems. Several randomized clinical trials have consistently demonstrated the effects of polypills on CV risk factors and adherence, and major trials are underway to study the effect on hard clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S8-S14
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
StatePublished - Dec 2015


  • Cardiovascular polypill
  • Primary prevention
  • Secondary prevention
  • Treatment adherence


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