Pharmaceutical company Genentech Inc. is recalling the defective drug Raptiva, which is used to treat psoriasis because of the drug's links to a fatal brain infection, according to a news report in the San Francisco Chronicle. This voluntary drug recall from San Francisco-based Genentech comes six months after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved updated labeling for the drug to warn consumers about Raptiva's links to a rare nervous system disorder called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy or PML. So far, there are three known confirmed fatal cases of PML in patients taking Raptiva. One other patient who was taking the drug developed similar neurological symptoms and died of an unknown cause, FDA officials said.
Genentech officials are saying that about 2,000 patients suffering from psoriasis, a skin and joint disorder, are taking the drug defective drug Raptiva here in the U.S. and about 46,000 patients worldwide have taken it since Raptiva's introduction in 2003. The drug accounted for $108 million in sales in 2008 for Genentech. The company is now saying that physicians should stop writing new prescriptions for the drug and that Raptiva will no longer be available after June 8. Patients are asked to consult their doctors before stopping the drug altogether because suddenly stopping it can lead to a worsening of their psoriasis.
Genentech first identified Raptiva's connection to the fatal brain infection in October after a 70-year-old patient died. That was when the labeling was updated to include the warning about PML. In February, the number of deaths rose to four. That has led to the company's decision to recall the drug altogether.
It is a known fact that most medicines have side effects. The FDA requires that all drug makers provide detailed information to consumers about the drugs they are taking so that consumers can make an informed decision about their course of treatment or choice of drugs. However, in the case of this particular drug, the so-called side effect has resulted in deaths! This is unacceptable. It is unbelievable and appalling that the drug maker received federal approval for Raptiva, put it in the market and made millions in profits over the last six years at the expense of consumers' lives.
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!
Parilman & Associates has represented and continues to represent consumers who have either suffered lifelong heath problems or have been killed because of dangerous drug effects in Raptiva. If you or a loved one has suffered adverse drug reactions as a result of taking Raptiva and would like to be kept advised of further developments or discuss your legal options, call our office. We will be happy to answer your questions and keep you informed of your rights.
For more information visit www.RaptivaLawUSA.com
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