The number of people who suffer from cardiovascular diseases is estimated at 100 million globally, with 75% of them in low- and middle-income countries. More than half of the total number aren’t taking cheap generic drugs that could reduce cardiac risk, according to a Reuters report that cites a study published in The Lancet. These drugs include aspirin, statins, beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors.
The study of 154,000 adults from 17 countries, including India, reports that the underuse is most acute in low-income countries. This has all the makings of a health disaster if the trend is combined with the higher levels of obesity seen in Indian towns and cities, along with complications brought on by the rising incidence of diabetes, which heightens cardiovascular risk. The good news is that, given Indian expertise with generics, the tools to fix this particular problem are close at hand.