Newswise — A three-drug medication known as a “polypill,” developed by the Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) and Ferrer, is effective in preventing secondary adverse cardiovascular events in people who have previously had a heart attack, reducing cardiovascular mortality by 33 percent in this patient population. These are findings from the SECURE trial led by Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, Director of Mount Sinai Heart and Physician-in-Chief of The Mount Sinai Hospital, and General Director of CNIC.
The study results were announced Friday, August 26, in a Hot Line session at the European Society of Cardiology Congress (ESC 2022) in Barcelona, Spain, and published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
“The results of the SECURE study show that for the first time that the polypill, which contains aspirin, ramipril, and atorvastatin, achieves clinically relevant reductions in the recurrent cardiovascular events among people who have recovered from a previous heart attack because of better adherence to this simplified approach with a simple polypill, rather than taking them separately as conventional,” says Dr. Fuster.
Patients recovering from a heart attack—also known as myocardial infarction—are prescribed specific treatments to prevent subsequent cardiovascular events. Standard therapy includes three different drugs: an antiplatelet agent (like aspirin); ramipril or a similar drug to control blood pressure; and a lipid-reducing drug, such as a statin. However, fewer than 50 percent of patients consistently adhere to their medication regimen.
“Although most patients initially adhere to treatment after an acute event such as an infarction, adherence drops off after the first few months. Our goal was to have an impact right from the start, and most of the patients in the study began taking a simple polypill in the first week after having a heart attack,” Dr. Fuster explains.
“Adherence to treatment after an acute myocardial infarction is essential for effective secondary prevention,” said José María Castellano, MD, study first author and Scientific Director of Fundación de Investigación HM Hospitales.
CNIC scientists first demonstrated that prescription of their polypill significantly improved treatment adherence among patients recovering after a myocardial infarction, in the FOCUS study, previously published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC).