Can combining different risk interventions into a single formulation contribute to improved cardiovascular disease risk reduction? The single pill of amlodipine/atorvastatin.
In order to prevent cardiovascular events, it is essential to effectively manage overall risk of cardiovascular disease. However, despite guideline recommendations to this effect, current management of the major, modifiable cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension and dyslipidemia is disconnected and patient adherence to therapy is poor. This is particularly important for patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors, who are often prescribed multiple medications. The JEWEL study program investigated the use of single-pill amlodipine/atorvastatin as a strategy to improve management of these patients. The JEWEL program consisted of two 16-week, international, open-label, multicenter, titration-to-goal studies in patients with hypertension and dyslipidemia. The two studies differed based on country of enrollment and certain tertiary endpoints, but the overall designs were very similar. Patients were enrolled from 255 centers across Canada and 13 European countries. The study was designed to assess the efficacy, safety, and utility of amlodipine/atorvastatin single-pill therapy in a real-world setting. Patients were initiated at a dose of amlodipine 5 mg/atorvastatin 10 mg, unless previously treated, and were uptitrated as necessary. The primary efficacy parameter was the percentage of patients, at different levels of cardiovascular risk, achieving country-specific guideline-recommended target levels for blood pressure and lipids. A secondary analysis of efficacy measured attainment of the same single goal for blood pressure across all study participants (JEWEL I and II) and the same single goal for LDL-C across all study participants (JEWEL I and II). The program utilized a newly developed questionnaire to gain better understanding of participants' beliefs and behaviors towards medical treatment of their multiple risk factors. Approximately 2850 patients were enrolled in the program, which was completed in August 2005. The JEWEL program assessed the effectiveness of a single pill (amlodipine/atorvastatin) in targeting the two principal risk factors for cardiovascular disease simultaneously to achieve nationally applicable treatment targets in a routine clinical practice setting.