Raptiva is an injectable drug used for the treatment of psoriasis. It has been discovered to cause a serious brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, or PML. The FDA has confirmed at least three cases of patients who died from PML after using Raptiva more than three years. According to the National Institutes of Health, PML usually lasts for months, 80 percent die within the first six months, and those who survive can be left with severe neurological disabilities.
In October of 2008, the drug’s manufacturer, Genentech, revised the drug’s label to warn about the risk of risks of life-threatening infections. The FDA is looking into whether Raptiva should remain on the market. In Europe, supervisory agencies are recommending that physicians stop prescribing Raptiva and that patients using the drug be switched to something else.