Wednesday, April 8, 2009

FDA: Raptiva Voluntary Withdrawal

Do you follow the FDA on Twitter? The FDA has announced that Genentech, the manufacturer of the psoriasis drug Raptiva (efalizumab), will begin a voluntary, phased withdrawal of the product from the U.S. market. Why? Because the use of Raptiva is associated with a potential risk of developing progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare, serious, progressive neurologic disease.


  1. It is frightening to think that this drug is only now being linked to PML in psoriasis patients. How many fatal pharmaceutical cases occurred over the last six years where the links to Raptiva had been overlooked? How many lives could have been saved had the fatal brain infection been linked to this drug right away? It's tragic!

  2. Since PML is so rare (and there were only a few cases linked to Raptiva), I think it took clinicians a bit of time to make the connection.