Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Pirfenidone approved for treatment of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Pirfenidone is a drug developed by InterMune Inc. for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. In 2011 it was approved for use in Europe for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) under the trade name Esbriet. The proposed trade name in the US is also Esbriet. Source: Wikipedia.

A DYING great-grandfather has been given fresh hope with the arrival of a new drug for his critical condition — but fears he may not survive long enough to try it.

Bill Clark has lung fibrosis and needs a double lung transplant to survive, but last January, the 67-year-old was taken off the waiting list at Wythenshawe Hospital, giving him just 12 to 18 months to live.

Bosses at Wythenshawe Hospital say they took a range of factors, including age, weight, lack of mobilisation and the disease into account when deciding that Mr Clark, from Over Hulton, was no longer suitable for surgery.

The former salesman’s condition has deteriorated over the past year and worsened in recent weeks, leaving him needing constant care.

But on January 4, Mr Clark has a hospital appointment that he hopes could give him a second chance.

If he passes a series of tests, he may be eligible to try a new drug called Pirfenidone, which has only recently become available in the UK and can potentially slow the progression of the disease.

Wythenshawe Hopital says the drug, which costs around £30,000 a year per patient, has still to be approved for use but the manufacturer has agreed to supply it free of charge for named patients at the clinic.

The hospital stresses that it is too early to say whether Pirfenidone will be useful and says its use will not have any impact on the process of deciding who is suitable for lung transplantation.

Mr Clark and his wife Barbara, aged 65, of Duchy Avenue, say they are worried that he will not be well enough to try the new tablet.

“I am supposed to be going for these tests in January, but whether I pass or not I don’t know. I think they have left it too late.

“I can’t do anything now, I am going bad day-by-day but there is nothing I can do, I am just fading away.

“It is upsetting when you are just waiting to die,” he said.”

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