(1) A term coined by Wald and Law in the BMJ in 2003 for a then-hypothetical medication that would contain multiple individual drugs to be taken for broad categories of diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, etc.
(2) A current polypill (PP) is an all-in-one heart-protective pill that could save an estimated one million-plus lives/year worldwide.
In a study published in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE, David Wall et al (Queen Mary, U of London), found a layered 4-agent pill* dramatically reduced major risk factors—12% reduction in blood pressure; 39% reduction of low-density lipoprotein (bad) cholesterol—for heart attacks and strokes in 50-year-olds. Per Wall, 28% of 50-year-olds would avoid or delay heart attacks or strokes and gain 11 years of life.
*A cardiovascular PP includes antihypertensives: diuretic, beta blocker and an ACE inhibitor, with a statin, aspirin and folic acid–to reduce serum homocysteine