Deaths Prompt Genentech To Pull Psoriasis Drug

Law360 (April 8, 2009, 12:00 AM EDT) -- Genentech Inc. is withdrawing its psoriasis drug Raptiva from the U.S. market following reports that three patients using the drug died of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, a rare central nervous system infection.

Genentech said Wednesday that doctors should immediately stop prescribing the drug, and should contact patients currently taking it to assess alternative treatments. Genentech will stop selling the drug on June 8.

The company estimates that about 2,000 patients in the U.S. are currently taking Raptiva for chronic psoriasis.

"Our decision to remove Raptiva from the market reflects Genentech's commitment to patient safety," said Hal Barron, Genentech's senior vice president for...

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