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Gold, incentives and meh

Polypill better than single drugs at reducing BP levels

A polypill containing a quarter of the standard doses of four antihypertensive agents has greater efficacy than the standard dose of any one of the drugs, new research shows.

In total, 60% of patients given the polypill achieved target blood pressure compared with 32% given amlodipine, 40% on atenolol, 45% on captopril and 15% on bendroflumethiazide.

Those on combined therapy achieved average reductions in systolic BP of 26mmHg and 15.3mmHg in diastolic BP.

Study leader Professor John Feely, professor of pharmacology and therapeutics at Trinity College Dublin, concluded: 'This data shows, in terms of efficacy, that a low-dose combination can produce greater blood pressure reductions than the standard dose of single antihypertensive.'

His study randomised 108 untreated hypertensive patients into five treatment groups given amlodipine, atenolol, bendroflumethiazide, captopril and/or a polypill of all four.

The study was published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology last week.

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