In 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Political Declaration on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) to acknowledge the threat of the rising non-communicable disease epidemic occurring globally, but predominantly impacting low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). In response, WHO developed a global monitoring framework to track progress in the prevention and control of major non-communicable diseases—cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic lung diseases and diabetes—and their key risk factors.1 Part of that framework included nine voluntary goals aiming to achieve a 25% reduction in premature mortality from NCDs by 2025. Three of these goals are relevant to discussions about the use of fixed-dose combination (FDC) medication—25% reduction in raised blood pressure, 50% coverage of drug therapy and counselling, and 80% coverage of essential NCD medications and technology.

Currently, despite the availability of a plethora of cheap, effective drugs (including blood pressure–lowering medications, cholesterol-lowering medications and antiplatelet drugs), the majority of…

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