Daiichi Sankyo UK has launched Sevikar HCT, the first three-in-one combination therapy available in the UK for the management of hypertension.

The new treatment combines olmesartan medoxomil, amlodipine and hydrochlorothiazide into one single pill to help manage hypertension in controlled patients who have difficulty taking multiple tablets.

Almost two million people in the UK are prescribed three or more treatments for their hypertension in order to achieve a blood pressure goal of less than 140/90 mmHg. However, research shows that up to 80% fail to take their medication as directed by their doctor, meaning that a proportion of them may remain uncontrolled and at risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, says the firm.

There is also evidence, it adds, that treatments given to patients as a single-pill fixed-dose combination can improve compliance rates and also improve blood pressure control compared with the same medications given separately as two or more pills. 

Sevikar HCT "offers physicians a simpler, once-a-day therapy for essential hypertension in patients already controlled on separate prescriptions of Olmesartan Plus and amlodipine," says Daiichi Sankyo. The product is available in five tailored doses.

Tony Heagerty, professor of medicine and health of the cardiovascular research group at Manchester University, says that a simplified treatment regimen for those patients taking three or more tablets "makes eminent sense for hypertension and could lead to improved compliance rates." 

"After lifestyle advice, medication is the most powerful way of managing high blood pressure, but only when it is taken correctly," says Prof Heagerty. "It is important to address adherence issues when they crop up, and support our patients when we can to help insure their futures against stroke," he adds.

Improving medication compliance may have a greater impact on clinical health outcomes than improved treatments, says Daiichi Sankyo. Stroke, which is often caused by hypertension, is a major health problem in the UK and costs the NHS an estimated £2.8 billion a year, while the overall cost to the economy in England is put at £7 billion annually, it adds.