Each of the drugs used in the Triple Pill has been shown to be highly effective in reducing blood pressure and preventing deaths and illness due to heart disease and strokes, she said. Each drug represents a different class of blood pressure medication and previous studies have shown that combining such drugs results in synergistic effects.
“The most urgent need for innovative strategies to control blood pressure is in low- and middle-income countries,” Webster said. “The Triple Pill approach is an opportunity to ‘leap frog’ over traditional approaches to care and adopt an innovative approach that has been shown to be effective.”
The study’s findings are also important for high-income countries, she said.
“A control rate of 70 percent would be a considerable improvement even in high-income settings. Most hypertension guidelines in these countries do not recommend combination blood pressure-lowering therapy for initial treatment in all people,” she said. “Our findings should prompt reconsideration of recommendations around the use of combination therapy.”
An inevitable consequence of a necessarily unblinded study (where both participants and their doctors know whether participants are assigned to the Triple Pill or usual care) is that doctors might manage patients differently depending on the assigned treatment. However, it is important to note this trial was designed to evaluate a new strategy of care in a real-world setting, Webster said.