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Abstract Aims The International Polycap Study 3 (TIPS-3) trial demonstrated that a polypill containing cholesterol- and multiple blood-pressure-lowering drugs reduces cardiovascular events by 20% compared with placebo in people without cardiovascular disease. The polypill plus aspirin led to a 31% relative risk reduction in cardiovascular disease events compared with double placebo. We report regional variations in costs and affordability of a polypill based on the TIPS-3 trial. Methods and results Countries were categorized using World Bank economic groups: lower-middle-income, upper-middle-income, and high-income countries. Country-specific costs were obtained for hospitalization events, procedures, and non-study medications (2019 US dollars). Polypill price was based on the cheapest equivalent substitute (CES) for each component. For the polypill vs. placebo, the difference in cost over the 4.6 years of the trial was $291 [95% confidence interval (CI): $243–339] per participant in lower-middle-income countries, $1068 (95% CI: $992–1144) in upper-middle-income countries, and $48 (95% CI: −$271 to $367) in high-income countries. Results were similar for the polypill plus aspirin vs. a double placebo. In both cases, the polypill was affordable in all groups using monthly household capacity to pay or a threshold of 4% of the gross national income per capita. Conclusion The use of a polypill (CES) in TIPS-3 increases costs in lower-middle-income countries and upper-middle-income countries but is affordable in countries at various economic levels and is cost neutral (dominant) in high-income countries.

Original publication





European Heart Journal - Quality of Care and Clinical Outcomes


Oxford University Press (OUP)

Publication Date





899 - 908