On April 8, the psoriasis drug Raptiva (efalizumab) was the subject of an announced phased voluntary withdrawal from the United States market. Its manufacturer, Genentech, made this announcement due to potential risk to patients of developing a severe, progressive neurologic disease known as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. This disease is caused by a virus that affects the central nervous system. Raptiva will be no longer available in the U.S. after June 8, 2009.
A February 19 FDA Public Health Advisory warned of PML risks in taking Raptiva, after reports were received of PML disease in patients who had been taking Raptiva.