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Raptiva Pulled From the U.S. Market 

In a statement released April 8, 2009, Genentech, the manufacturer of Raptiva, announced a voluntary, phased withdrawal of the drug from the U.S. market. Patients who have used Raptiva are at potential risk to develop progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). PML is a rare but serious neurological disease caused by a virus that affects the central nervous system.

PML generally occurs in those people whose immune systems are severely weakened and often leads to an irreversible decline neurological function, eventually leading to death. At this point there is no known treatment for PML that is considered to be effective.

Signs and Symptoms of Progressive Leukoencephalopathy (PML) 

There have been two deaths from PML reported in the United States in psoriasis patients treated with Raptiva. Both cases involved patients over the age of 70 who received Raptiva for approximately four years. According to a company press release issued November 18, 2008, based upon the medical information available for the two cases of PML, Genentech believes that Raptiva likely increases the risk of PML and that prolonged exposure to Raptiva and older age may further increase this risk.

PML is a rare, progressive disease of the central nervous system caused by the reactivation of a latent virus which results in progressive damage or inflammation of the brain. In a healthy adult, the virus usually stays dormant. PML occurs almost exclusively in people with severe immune deficiency that are more susceptible to infection.

Signs and symptoms of Progressive Leukoencephalopathy (PML) may include:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Progressive weakness
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Difficulty talking or walking
  • Visual impairment
  • Partial paralysis
  • Seizures

If you or your loved one has suffered a Raptiva injury, contact us today. Submit the form to the right and we’ll let you know if you have a case and if we can represent you.