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J Prim Health Care. 2013 Mar 1;5(1):28-35.

Could the polypill improve adherence? The patient perspective.

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Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, The University of Auckland, PB 92019, Auckland, New Zealand.



Multiple medications are recommended for the management of ischaemic heart disease. Unfortunately, increasing the number of medicines reduces adherence to medicines therapy. The concept of a polypill with a fixed dose combination of the common cardiovascular medicines (aspirin, statin, two blood pressure-lowering medicines) has been promoted. Patient perceptions about this concept have not been explored.


People taking at least three cardiovascular medicines were interviewed using a semi-structured interview about their views on a polypill that could reduce the number of tablets they would need to take.


The participants considered that the polypill would be very convenient, especially when travelling and would reduce the pill burden. If the polypill was subsidised by the government, they would have reduced dispensing fee costs. There were concerns around the inflexibility of dosing of individual components of the polypill, and some concerns about safety and efficacy. Medical practitioners were identified as having an important role in influencing participants about the acceptability of the polypill.


Generally the concept of the polypill was acceptable to participants, primarily because of the convenience and reduced number of tablets required daily. There were concerns about whether the polypill would be as effective and safe as the individual medicines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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