The Editorial Executive Committee welcomes letters, which should be less than 250 words. Before a decision to publish is made, letters which refer to a published article may be sent to the author for a response. Any letter may be sent to an expert for comment. When letters are published, they are usually accompanied in the same issue by their responses or comments. The Committee screens out discourteous, inaccurate or libellous statements. The letters are sub-edited before publication. Authors are required to declare any conflicts of interest. The Committee's decision on publication is final.


Letter to the Editor

Editor, – I found the article about cardiovascular disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (Aust Prescr 2010;33:72-5) fascinating.

My interest is in the possible use of a polypill in this scenario. Trials of the polypill began in Australia early in 2010 and I am interested to know if Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been included in these trials. I am also curious to know which polypill combinations have been favoured in the studies, either the antiplatelet-ACE inhibitors-statinthiazide diuretic or the antiplatelet-ACE inhibitors-statin-beta blocker combination.

Is it not possible that the four-in-one combination would serve to improve adherence to cardiovascular treatment in indigenous communities and help to minimise screening and prevention requirements?

Claude Rigney
Epping, NSW


Authors' comments

Professor Jenny Reath and Associate Professor Ngiare Brown, authors of the article, comment:

The Australia-wide, National Health and Medical Research Council-funded polypill trial to which Mr Rigney refers does include a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. As for participants in other sites, general practitioners in these communities are advised to choose a formulation relevant to the individual patient. For example, in a patient who has suffered a myocardial infarction, the beta blocker formulation would generally be preferred.

The hope is certainly that use of a polypill formulation will improve adherence and reduce costs.

Claude Rigney

Pharmacist, Epping, NSW

Jenny Reath

Professor and Peter Brennan Chair of General Practice, School of Medicine, University of Western Sydney

Ngiare Brown

Associate Professor and Director, Bullana - the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, University of Sydney