Barriers and Facilitators to the Use of Cardiovascular Fixed-Dose Combination Medication (Polypills) in Andhra Pradesh, India: A Mixed-Methods Study
Abdul Salam ,
Cardiovascular Division, George Institute for Global Health, University of New South Wales, Hyderabad, IN
Primary Health Care Research, George Institute for Global Health, University of New South Wales, Hyderabad, IN
Office of the Chief Scientist, George Institute for Global Health, University of New South Wales, Sydney, AU
George Institute for Global Health, IN
Department of George Health Technologies George Institute for Global Health, University of New South Wales, Sydney, AU
Background: Polypills, fixed-dose combinations of blood pressureelowering drug(s), and statin, with or without aspirin, improve the use of these recommended drugs in patients with or at high risk of cardiovascular disease. However, in India, there has been poor uptake of polypills despite market availability.
Objectives: This study sought to assess availability and cost of polypills and explore barriers and facilitators to their use in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India.
Methods: A mixed-methods study was conducted. Availability and cost of polypills as well as individual component drugs was assessed through a survey of pharmacies across urban, urban slum, and rural regions in state of Andhra Pradesh in India. In-depth interviews with stakeholders at each level of the health system explored barriers and facilitators to use of polypills.
Results: Overall, 30 pharmacies were surveyed (10 in each of urban, urban slum, and rural region). In urban region, 2 pharmacies stocked polypills (without aspirin) costing 121 Indian rupees (INR) per 10 pills, and 1 other pharmacy stocked a polypill (with aspirin) costing 24 INR per 10 pills. All pharmacies stocked a wide range of component drugs as separate pills with combined cost of the cheapest angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, statin, and aspirin INR 124 per 10 pills. Patients were willing to use polypills if prescribed by their doctor, and pharmacies were willing to stock polypills if there was market demand. For prescribers, key barriers included perceptions that current polypills contained outdated drugs and inadequate flexibility in prescribing.
Conclusions: In a market in which polypill use is licensed, their availability and use is very low. Lack of prescription of polypills was the predominant barrier to polypill use; therefore, making polypills with drugs that are more acceptable and at different available strengths, in conjunction with broader prescriber education and training, may improve their use.
- In India, where polypills are licensed, their availability and use are very low.
- A major barrier to the use of polypills is the lack of prescriptions from prescribers.
- Polypills with evidence-based drugs that are acceptable to prescribers are likely to improve their use.
How to Cite:
Salam A, Praveen D, Patel A, Tewari A, Webster R. Barriers and Facilitators to the Use of Cardiovascular Fixed-Dose Combination Medication (Polypills) in Andhra Pradesh, India: A Mixed-Methods Study. Global Heart. 2019;14(3):303–10. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.gheart.2019.07.002
01 Sep 2019.