Randomised trial of a combined pill [ 2008 - 2009 ]

Also known as: Improving adherence to guidelines using a combination pill in patients with heart attack and stroke

Research Grant

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Researchers: Prof Andrew Tonkin Prof Anthony Rodgers Prof David Henry Prof Timothy Usherwood (Participant) Prof Anushka Patel (Principal investigator)
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Brief description People who have experienced a previous heart attack or stroke are at greatest risk of having another cardiovascular event. Drug treatment, with aspirin and medication to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, has been shown to substantially reduce this risk. Despite good evidence that these drugs are effective, and that their use is recommended in both Australian and international guidelines, many people who should be taking these medications on a long-term basis are not. This may partly be due to under-prescribing by doctors, but it is also likely that asymptomatic patients are discouraged by the cost and inconvenience of taking many tablets. In the first study of its kind in this country, we will determine whether a strategy based on the provision of recommended treatments in a single pill (a polypill) will result in better use of these drugs, and as a consequence, will achieve optimum practice in patients with heart disease or stroke. Under the care of their general practitioner, 1000 such patients will be randomly allocated to the polypill, or to continuing their usual treatment. At the end of 2 years, both groups will be assessed for the proportion of people still prescribed and taking all recommended treatments. We will also collect information on the attitudes and experiences of those participating in the study of prescribing (by doctors), dispensing (by pharmacists) and taking (by patients) the polypill. As cardiovascular diseases are the leading causes of illness and death in Australia, finding new ways to ensure the maximum use of known, effective preventive treatments in patients with heart disease and stroke, particularly to those who have less access to health care, is of critical importance. The polypill represents a novel strategy with the potential to achieve this objective, and to improve the clinical care and well-being of many thousands of Australians.

Funding Amount $AUD 1,308,548.72

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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