Blood pressure is poorly controlled in most European countries and the control rate is even lower in high-risk patients such as patients with chronic kidney disease, diabetic patients or previous coronary heart disease. Several factors have been associated with poor control, some of which involve the characteristic of the patients themselves, such as socioeconomic factors, or unsuitable life-styles, other factors related to hypertension or to associated comorbidity, but there are also factors directly associated with antihypertensive therapy, mainly involving adherence problems, therapeutic inertia and therapeutic strategies unsuited to difficult-to-control hypertensive patients.
It is common knowledge that only 30% of hypertensive patients can be controlled using monotherapy; all the rest require a combination of two or more antihypertensive drugs, and this can be a barrier to good adherence and log-term persistence in patients who also often need to use other drugs, such as antidiabetic agents, statins or antiplatelet agents. The fixed combinations of three antihypertensive agents currently available can facilitate long-term control of these patients in clinical practice. If well tolerated, a long-term therapeutic regimen that includes a diuretic, an ACE inhibitor or an angiotensin receptor blocker, and a calcium channel blocker is the recommended optimal triple therapy.