Magic bullet they said would never happen

The Daily Mail reports today that trials of a magic bullet medicine – a polypill – are underway in London. It’s a pill that combines medication for raised blood pressure, high cholesterol and to reduce blood clotting. The sceptics said it would never happen because drugs companies wouldn’t make any money. Whether they do or not, it’s happening. Another objection will be that it will turn us all into patients – something I have written about before – but I don’t believe is the case with this. This will be a godsend for people with heart disease or at risk of stroke who struggle to remember which pill to take and when – or simply resent being given so many pills that they rattle. This could transform the chances of people in developing countries of getting the medication that they need. The only caveat is that we prescribe this polypill for those who need it – that the pool of those defined as ‘at risk’ is not an ever widening one – but that goes for all medicines.


About Julia Manning

Julia Manning is a social pioneer, writer, campaigner and commentator. Formerly a clinical optometrist specialising in diabetes and visual impairment, she is the founder and Director of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal and Social. 2020health has through research, events and campaigning influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. In 2014, 2020health were founding partners of the Health Tech and You Awards with Axa PPP and the Design Museum. Since 2016, 2020health has increasingly focused on digital health and public health in the community. Julia is a Fellow of the RSA and now also a part-time PhD student at the UCL Interaction Centre, studying the use of digital technology for stress management in the workplace. Julia has shared 2020health's research widely in the media (BBC News, ITV, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions & Victoria Derbyshire, BBC Radio 4 Today, PM and Woman's Hour, LBC) and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week.
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