It's been a dream for a decade: a single daily pill combining aspirin, cholesterol medicine and a blood pressure drug—everything people need to prevent heart attacks and strokes in a cheap, generic form. Skeptics pooh-poohed it, but now the first big test of the "polypill" has proved them wrong. An experimental combo pill was as effective as nearly all of its components taken alone, with no greater side effects, a major study found.
Taking the pill—called Polycap, an experimental combo formulated by a company in India— could cut a person's risk of heart disease and stroke roughly in half. No price for the polypill has been disclosed, but its generic components cost only a total of $17 a month now and doctors expect the combo would sell for far less. "Widely applied, this could have profound implications," said one expert.