Norgine welcomes the new World Health Organisation (WHO) ICD-11 coding for hepatic encephalopathy

03 July 2018




AMSTERDAM. The Netherlands, Tuesday 3 July 2018, 12:00 BST / 13:00 CET. Norgine announced today that it welcomes the inclusion of hepatic encephalopathy in the new WHO release of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).

ICD purpose and uses:

ICD is the foundation for the identification of health trends and statistics globally, and the international standard for reporting diseases and health conditions. It is the diagnostic classification standard for all clinical and research purposes. ICD defines the universe of diseases, disorders, injuries and other related health conditions, listed in a comprehensive, hierarchical fashion that allows for:

  • easy storage, retrieval and analysis of health information for evidenced-based decision-making;
  • sharing and comparing health information between hospitals, regions, settings and countries; and
  • data comparisons in the same location across different time periods.

Uses include monitoring of the incidence and prevalence of diseases, observing reimbursements and resource allocation trends, and keeping track of safety and quality guidelines. They also include the counting of deaths as well as diseases, injuries, symptoms, reasons for encounter, factors that influence health status, and external causes of disease.

The new ICD code for hepatic encephalopathy is DB99.5.

Dr Alastair Benbow, Chief Development & Medical Officer at Norgine said: “Including hepatic encephalopathy, a common complication of liver cirrhosis, in the ICD-11 is a significant milestone which should help improve diagnosis and treatment of this debilitating disease and ultimately reduce societal and health economic burden.”

He added: “Europe has the largest burden of liver disease in the world and, in some countries such as the UK and Finland the increase in liver deaths over the past 40 years was reported as “staggering’.[ii] While we appreciate that implementation of the ICD-11 will take some time, we believe that it will help to recognise that hepatic encephalopathy is a life-threatening condition and that patients can be managed accordingly.”

Norgine currently holds marketing rights for rifaximin–α (XIFAXAN® 550mg, also known as TARGAXAN® 550mg in the UK and Belgium) in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Sweden and United Kingdom.

XIFAXAN® 550mg is indicated for the reduction in risk of overt hepatic encephalopathy (HE) recurrence in patients ≥18 years of age.  



Notes to Editors:

About Norgine

Norgine is a leading European specialist pharmaceutical company with a direct commercial presence in all major European markets. In 2017, Norgine’s total net sales were EUR 345 million, up 17 per cent.

Norgine employs over 1,000 people across its commercial, development and manufacturing operations and manages all aspects of product development, production, marketing, sale and supply.

Norgine specialises in gastroenterology, hepatology, cancer and supportive care.

Norgine is headquartered in the Netherlands. Norgine owns a R&D site in Hengoed, Wales and two manufacturing sites in Hengoed, Wales and Dreux, France.

For more information, please visit

In 2012, Norgine established a complementary business Norgine Ventures, supporting innovative healthcare companies through the provision of debt-like financing in Europe and the US. For more information, please visit

NORGINE and the sail logo are trademarks of the Norgine group of companies.

XIFAXAN and TARGAXAN are under license from Alfasigma S.p.A. 
XIFAXAN and TARGAXAN are registered trademarks of the Alfasigma group of companies, licensed to the Norgine group of companies.


About Alfasigma

Alfasigma was set-up in 2015 by aggregating Alfa Wassermann and Sigma-Tau. Based in Italy, with more than 2,800 employees, Alfasigma has 16 subsidiaries all over the world and authorized distributors in more than 70 countries.

Through its R&D, manufacturing capabilities and commercial units, Alfasigma markets prescription and OTC drugs and medical foods.

2017 Alfasigma turnover reached 1.06 billion euro, 40% of which is made of four proprietary molecules: Sulodexide, L-carnitine, L-Methylfolate and Rifaximin-α.


Media Contact :

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[i] World Health Organisation. ICD-11. Accessed 21 June 2018

[ii] Pimpin, L., Cortez-Pinto, H., Negro, F., Corbould, E., Lazarus, J.V., Webber, L., Sheron, N., Burden of liver disease in Europe: epidemiology and analysis of risk factors to identify prevention policies,

Journal of Hepatology (2018), doi: