According to the FDA, there have been three confirmed cases, and a possible fourth, of people who have been diagnosed with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) after using Raptiva. Raptiva is an injectable drug used to treat adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. The drug works by suppressing the immune system, which increases a person’s risk of infections. PML is a serious brain infection. According to the National Institutes of Health, eighty percent of PML patients die within the first six months of having the disease. Three of the PML patients cited by the FDA have died. In October 2008, at the FDA’s urging, the U.S. label on Raptiva was revised to highlight a boxed warning about serious infections, such as PML. Due to such risks, the European Medicines Agency recently recommended that no new prescriptions for Raptiva be issued. The agency also asked the European Commission to make that recommendation legally binding.
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