"The thought that people might be able to take a single pill to reduce multiple cardiovascular risk factors has generated a lot of excitement, it would certainly revolutionize heart disease prevention as we know it," says McMaster cardiologist Dr. Salim Yusuf, a lead author.
"Number one, it will reduce the cost of the pills. And it will improve compliance. We know that more people are apt to take one pill compared to five or six pills," Dr. Ruth McPherson, the director of the Lipid Clinic and Lipid Research Laboratory at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.
"President Obama is trying to offer the greatest care to the greatest number. This very much fits in with that." "Widely applied, this could have profound implications," said Dr. Robert Harrington, an American College of Cardiology spokesman and chief of Duke University's heart research institute.
The polypill also has big psychological advantages, said Dr. James Stein of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
"That was a big surprise. I would have expected five times the number of people to have side effects," because of the possibility the drugs would interact and magnify any problems, said Dr. Christopher Cannon, a cardiologist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston who had no role in the study.
A spokeswoman for the British Heart Foundation said: "The results suggest that the polypill has the potential to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease.”
Joanne Murphy of The Stroke Association said: "By combining these medications in one pill, it will make it easier for people to take their medication. However, it is important that more research and investigation is done into this pill to ensure its safety."