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.

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About Julia Manning

Julia Manning is a social entrepreneur, writer, campaigner and commentator. She is based in London and is the founder and Chief Executive of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal. Through networking, technology, research, relationships and campaigning 2020health has influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. Julia studied visual science at City University and became a member of the College of Optometrists in 1991. Her career has included being a visiting lecturer at City University, a visiting clinician at the Royal Free Hospital, working with south London Primary Care Trusts and as a Director of the UK Institute of Optometry. She specialised in diabetes (University of Warwick Certificate in Diabetic Care) and founded Julia Manning Eyecare in 2004, a home and prison visiting practice for people with mental and physical disabilities using the latest digital technology, which she sold to Healthcall (now part of Specsavers) in 2009. Experiences of working in the NHS, contributing to policy development, raising two children in the inner-city and standing in the General Election in Bristol in 2005 led to Julia forming 2020health at the end of 2006. Julia is a regular guest on TV and radio shows such as BBC News, ITV’s Daybreak/ GMB, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions, BBC Radio, LBC and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week. She is mum to a rugby-mad son, a daughter passionate about Shakespeare, and wife of a comprehensive school assistant head-teacher. She loves gardening, ballet, Zimbabwe, her Westies Skye and Angus, is an honorary research associate at UCL and a Fellow of the RSA.
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