Researchers at Kaiser Permanente have discovered that patients who took a combination of two drugs were able to reduce their risk of serious heart attack and stroke by a whopping 60 percent. The problem with this approach to prevention was getting the study participants to take the medication regularly.
The idea for the study was to lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels simultaneously for the 170,000 participants. All of the people who took the combination of lovastatin for cholesterol and lisinopril for blood pressure were California residents and members of Kaiser Permanente’s managed care programs.
Just over 47,000 of the participants failed to take the medication regularly as directed. The patients who took the drug at least 50 percent of the time numbered approximately 21,000. Next on the list for Kaiser? A follow-up program to increase compliance rates.