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Int J Pharm Pract. 2012 Jun;20(3):155-63. doi: 10.1111/j.2042-7174.2011.00175.x. Epub 2011 Oct 27.

Opinions of community pharmacists on the value of a cardiovascular polypill as a means of improving medication compliance.

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The George Institute for Global Health, University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW, Australia.



Cardiovascular disease is a major public health problem despite established treatment guidelines and significant healthcare expenditure worldwide. Poor medication compliance accounts in part for some of the observed evidence/practice gaps. Trials of fixed-dose combination pills are currently underway, but the attitudes of relevant health professionals to the routine use of a cardiovascular polypill are generally unknown. Pharmacists are a group of providers who play an important role in patient compliance with long-term medications. The objective was to identify the main perceived barriers to compliance and to investigate pharmacists' opinions regarding the routine use of a cardiovascular polypill.


The setting was community pharmacies in the metropolitan and greater areas of New South Wales, Australia. Structured questionnaires were administered to a random sample of community pharmacists and peer-to-peer, semi-structured interviews were conducted with a sub-sample. Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS V16.0 and interviews were analysed thematically.


Questionnaires were completed by 72 of the 250 pharmacists invited to participate. The major barrier to cardiovascular medication compliance identified by respondents was polypharmacy. Other barriers included patient disinterest, time constraints and costs. Most pharmacists agreed that a cardiovascular polypill could be one potential solution to poor compliance by simplifying the treatment regimen (73.6% agreed) and reducing patient costs (79.2% agreed). Inability to tailor treatment and to ascribe side effects was among some of the identified concerns.


The use of a cardiovascular polypill as a means of increasing patient compliance with long-term cardiovascular preventive therapies is seen as potentially valuable by community pharmacists.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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