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An economic case for a cardiovascular polypill? A cost analysis of the Kanyini GAP trial

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There is increasing global interest in the use of frequently indicated medications in fixed-dose combination for the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD).1,2 Evidence of the effectiveness of such polypills as a strategy in improving adherence to recommended treatment and potentially lowering costs is growing.3,4 Although there are combination blood pressure-lowering and cholesterol-lowering medications, a more comprehensive cardiovascular polypill (containing generic aspirin, a lipid-lowering and two blood pressure-lowering agents) is not currently available in Australia. At a feasible cost of less than $1 per day5 compared with a minimum cost in Australia of $1.70 per day for individual generic therapies (http://pbs.gov.au/info/about-the-pbs), prima facie evidence exists for extensive savings from such a strategy in Australia.

The cost-effectiveness of polypill-based strategies compared with individual medications has yet to be tested in real-life settings, although cost-effectiveness has been shown in different patient groups and health care settings using modelled projections.5,6