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  • Writer's picturescottlissington

New Zealand is a step closer to funding the cardiovascular polypill

The pharmaceutical buying agency PHARMAC has received a positive recommendation to fund Trinomia, a combination of aspirin (a blood ‘thinning’ agent to reduce blood clots), atorvastin (to reduce harmful cholesterol levels) and ramipril (to reduce blood pressure) for New Zealanders.

PHARMACs cardiovascular subcommittee, mainly specialist cardiologists, provides clinical advice for PHARMAC. The committee has recommended that Trinomia be funded for New Zealanders based on their cardiovascular risk. Cardiovascular risk is most commonly determined by a general practitioner (GP).

Cardiovascular disease is NZ’s biggest killer and leading cause of loss of healthy life years. Maori are disproportionately affected, and cardiovascular disease is the main reason for the increasing difference in life expectancy between Maori and non-Maori. The World Heart Foundation identified the cardiovascular polypill as vital to reducing cardiovascular deaths by 25% by 2025. The cardiovascular polypill combines three very effective pharmaceuticals into one, together the 3 products reduce cardiovascular events such as heart attacks by up to 71%.

New Zealanders have been closely involved in the availability of the polypill. The IMPACT clinical trial was conducted in New Zealand with funding from the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRCNZ).  Studies showed that use of the polypill could help improve adherence (how often people take their medicine) and is likely to reduce health inequities between Maori and Pacific New Zealanders and Non-Maori and Pacific New Zealanders.

We look forward to the next step of PHARMACs funding process.

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