WHO Adds Polypills to Essential Medicines List for Cardiovascular Diseases


Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) has added three fixed-dose combinations of cardiovascular medicines, or polypills, to its revised Model Lists of Essential Medicines (EML) for 2023.

Key Points:

  • Inclusion of Polypills: The polypills are intended for use in both primary and secondary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases.
  • The decision was based on evidence from large randomized-controlled trials showing that the use of polypills is associated with reduced risks of cardiovascular events, including fatal and non-fatal myocardial infarction and stroke.
  • Indian Polycap Study: One of the polypills included in the EML is Polycap, manufactured by Cadila in India.
  • Low-cost Public Health Intervention: The polypill is an affordable and straightforward treatment that can be administered with minimal monitoring to a majority of people, effectively preventing millions of cardiovascular events and deaths each year.
  • By improving medication adherence and reducing the need for hospitalizations, the polypill saves costs and offers significant benefits in public health interventions.