Researchers at the Imperial College in London are launching an international clinical trial that will test the waters of a once-daily ‘polypill’ containing aspirin, a statin and two blood pressure lowering medications to reduce cardiovascular (CV) events.
According to researchers, the UMPIRE (Use of a Multidrug Pill In Reducing cardiovascular Events) trial will enroll 2,000 patients at high-risk of heart attack or stroke and who have experienced a prior CV event to participate in the two-year multicenter trial.
The researchers said the polypill, what they call the ‘Red Heart pill,’ is a cheaper version of modern medications used currently to battle CV events.
The UMPIRE trial will take place at centers in the U.K., Ireland and the Netherlands and is pending approval in India. Earlier this year, the researchers said that comparable trials have already gotten underway at centers in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China and South Africa.
Overall, the trials will encompass almost 7,000 patients and evaluate whether patients are more likely to stick with their current multi-pill treatment regiments or switch to the once-daily polypill.
Additionally, the researchers will analyze the polypill's ability to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as preventing CV events.
"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,” said co-principal investigator of the study Simon Thom, MD, of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at Imperial College.
“The UMPIRE trial aims to test whether the polypill does help people take their cardiovascular medicines in the long term and whether there are any unintended problems with this approach,” he concluded.