Life Sciences

Genentech withdraws Raptiva

Pharma Compliance Alert, April 22, 2009

Genentech is voluntarily withdrawing its psoriasis drug Raptiva from the U.S. market because of the drug’s association with an increased risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare and usually fatal disease of the central nervous system, the company announced.

Genentech estimates 2,000 patients in the U.S. take Raptiva for chronic plaque psoriasis and approximately 46,000 patients worldwide have been treated with Raptiva since 2003. Three patients receiving Raptiva were diagnosed with PML and a fourth developed progressive neurologic symptoms and died of an unknown cause.

Genentech advised physicians to stop writing Raptiva prescriptions for new patients and to work with patients currently taking the drug to find an alternative treatment. Raptiva will not be available after June 8.

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