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Four-in-one pill boost for heart patients

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A new four-in-one tablet promises to significantly reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in vulnerable patients.

Instead of being burdened with taking several drugs a day, patients can swallow this single tablet, which combines the active ingredients of four key existing medicines needed to tackle cardiovascular problems.

It means that patients who are accepted for a new trial will only have to take the one ‘polypill’ tablet a day to get the protection they need.

Hundreds of people will be invited to test the drug, with trials launching today in the UK, the Republic and Netherlands.

The medication, which contains low dose aspirin, a cholesterol lowering statin and two blood-pressure reducing medicines, is known as the ‘Red Heart Pill’. Polypills have already been used successfully to treat other disease like HIV — reducing the number of tablets patients have to take from over 30 a day to as little as four.

Professor Alice Stanton, of the Royal College of Surgeons in the Republic, said that, if successful, the polypill would help combat the problem of patients on several medications who either neglected or forgot to take all their tablets daily.

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