Raptiva Lawyers - PML Attorneys
Personal Injury Lawyers - Representing People Nationwide
On April 8, 2009, Genentech Inc. announced a voluntary phased withdrawal of its drug Raptiva from the U.S. market because its use is associated with an increased risk for Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare and often fatal viral brain infection.
Raptiva is administered once per week via injection to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, an autoimmune disease that affects the skin. Raptiva tempers the function of the immune system by suppressing T-cells. T-cells, however, are a type of blood cell that helps fight certain serious infections, including PML.
The US Food and Drug Administration ( FDA) originally approved Raptiva in 2003. In October 2008, however, the FDA announced a labeling change for the drug to include a new black box warning after at least three confirmed reports of PML. In all three cases, the patients eventually died.
Since its approval, about 46,000 patients have been treated with Raptiva worldwide. It is estimated that about 2,000 patients are being treated with Raptiva in the U.S. In 2008, U.S. sales of Raptiva totaled approximately $108 million.
Raptiva will no longer be available after June 8, 2009, and doctors are urged to no longer issue prescriptions. Severe psoriasis could worsen in those who stop taking the drug abruptly, so patients who are currently taking Raptiva are urged to contact their physicians immediately to discuss alternatives.
While there is no effective treatment or prevention method for PML, those affected after taking Raptiva will need care and may be entitled to compensation. Symptoms of PML include:
- Loss of coordination
- Speech and vision problems
- Personality changes
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms after taking Raptiva, it is likely in your interest to contact a qualified pharmaceutical injury attorney. A professional legal representative can evaluate your case and apprise you of your legal options. You may be entitled to significant financial compensation.