A Polypill For Everyone Or Side Effects For All?

Hey there Guys,

Today’s latest medical buzz from the UK is the results of research on a new “polypill”: a tablet containing four different medications reported to have “the potential to save many tens of thousands of lives each year “.

As reported in The Independant Newspaper Uk:

The polypill is a layered tablet containing three blood pressure-lowering drugs and a cholesterol-lowering statin.

Dr Wald, from Queen Mary, University of London, said: “The health implications of our results are large. If people took the polypill from age 50, an estimated 28% would benefit by avoiding or delaying a heart attack or stroke during their lifetime; on average, those who benefit would gain 11 years of life without a heart attack or stroke.”


This report is based on a study published by the Public Library of Science One in which they predict “the predicted effect in reducing ischaemic heart disease events [heart attacks] is 72% and in reducing stroke is 64%”. Side effects of the four medications in the polypill were not assessed.

These reductions in the risk of heart attack and stroke are certainly great however I would like to highlight an important comparison. Just thirty minutes of physical movement daily also has similar results with no side effects.

As discussed in my post “Weightloss vs. Fitness” 30 minutes of movement daily can reduce the rate of death by heart attack or stroke by almost one half! Additional benefits include increased happiness and feelings of well being, weight loss, increased bone density and reduced rate of diabetes. All without potential side effects of chemicals added to the body.

Don’t get me wrong. There are many people that greatly benefit from medications to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, however I am deeply concerned that medicine is moving towards medicating a whole population when simple movement can produce the same results and better without side effects and cost to the tax payer.

I went into medicine to help people gain optimal health, not to line the pockets of drug companies or to doom a whole generation of patients to potential side effects. Surely I’m not the only person that feels this way?

Yours in good health.

Dr George


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