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Xigris world-first treatment for sepsis now on PBS

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The first drug to target sever sepsis, a condition that kills thousands of Australians annually, is now available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits scheme (PBS)

The first drug to target sever sepsis, a condition that kills thousands of Australians annually, is now available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits scheme (PBS)Xigris [drotrecogin: alfa (activated)] has been shown to reduce death rates by 19% in an international study involving 1690 patents, in 164 centres, across 11 countries, including Australia. Data presented at the American College of Chest Physicians Annual Assembly (November 2002) showed that, after 2 years, more patients treated with Xigris had sustained survival of sepsis, without lengthening hospital stay, compared with those receiving standard care.Dr Yahya Shehabi, Director of Intensive Care ant Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, said Xigris was a welcome breakthrough in the management of sepsis. Weve been waiting for treatment like this, that can save lives of patients at high risk of death. Dr Shehabi said. Sepsis, and its complications is the number one killer in medical and surgical intensive care units in Australia, with approximately 12 000 cases of sepsis with organ failure occurring each year. It occurs when an infection (bacterial, viral, fungal or parasitic), often the result is trauma, surgery, burns or cancer, triggers a cascade of immune system responses that can lead to acute organ dysfunction and often death. One-third of patients with sepsis die from its consequences within a month half die within 6 months.In Australia, the death rate in hospital patients with severe sepsis is estimated to be 52%.Dr Micheal Buist, Director of intensive Care at Dandenong Hospital, Melbourne, said Xigris has a potent effect in patients with severe sepsis. At last we have an effective agent that is not just an antibiotic and is not just supportive care, he said. Most patients with severe sepsis have low levels of protein C, which is converted into activated protein C, a major inodulator of inflammation, thrombosis and fihrinolysis.Xigris is recombinant, human-activated protein C and works by blocking inflammation and reducing activation of the coagulation system, interrupting the sepsis cascade before it gets out of control. Symptoms of sepsis include reduced mental alertness, confusion, shaking, chills, fever and nausea in the presence of infection. The most frequent sites of infection are the lungs, urinary tract, the abdomen and pelvis. The course of the disease is unpredictable and some patients can quickly deteriorate into septic shock, a severe form of sepsis in which major organ systems begin to fail.Xigris has been listed on the PBS for patients with severe sepsis who have a high risk of death as determined by acute organ dysfunction (two or more), or modified APACHF II score of at least 25. Xigris is manufactured by Eli Lilly and is available in 20mg and 5mg vials given as an intravenous infusion over 96 hours. For more information contact Eli Lilly Pty Ltd (03) 9325 4444(Current Therapeutics, December 2002 / January 2003)

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Posted On: 26 June, 2003
Modified On: 5 December, 2013

Created by: myVMC