A new three-in-one-pill could reduce the risk factors for heart disease and stroke by 50 per cent and revolutionize prevention of these conditions, which kill thousands of Canadians every year.

The pill is called Polycap, or Polypill, and contains a dose of a baby Aspirin, three different blood-pressure-lowering drugs and the generic version of a statin drug, which lowers cholesterol.

A study published in the Lancet showed that when these drugs were taken together in one pill, they were just as effective as when taken separately.

The researchers say one pill is easier for patients to remember to take, cheaper to manufacture and less onerous for doctors to prescribe.

They also found there were fewer side effects than when the drugs are taken separately.

Collectively, the results show that the polypill reduces the risk of heart disease by 62 per cent and of stroke by 48 per cent.

The next step is for researchers to assess whether it actually reduces the number of heart attacks and strokes.

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