Ten years after it was approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the sepsis drug Xigris has been withdrawn from the market. Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly has advised all hospitals to stop using the drug. A new study has found that the intravenous medicine is not effective and does not save patient lives.

Sepsis is an extremely serious medical condition in which a person's immune system overreacts to an infection, causing often-fatal organ failure. Xigris was introduced into the market in 2001 as a treatment for sepsis, despite some studies finding that the drug may cause dangerous amounts of bleeding.

Three years ago, the PROWESS-SHOCK study looked at almost 1,700 patients who had been treated for sepsis with Xigris. Although the study found that severe bleeding did not affect a significant number of patients, it also found that the fatality rate for patients taking Xigris was actually slightly higher than those given a placebo. After the study's completion, the drug company that manufactures the drug made the decision to stop production.

Sales of the drug were an estimated $100 million last year alone.

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