The Genentech unit of drug maker Roche Holding AG, makers of the psoriasis drug Raptiva, is removing the drug from the market after learning it can cause a rare fatal disease of the central nervous system.
Raptiva was approved in 2003 for the treatment of chronic moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, a condition of the skin characterized by red, scaly, inflamed patches of skin. The official date this drug will be removed from circulation is June 8, 2009, reports Fox 5 in Atlanta.
The company stated no new prescriptions should be written. Of the approximately 2,000 patients now using the drug, three have shown symptoms of the rare nervous system disorder and one died. The FDA confirmed these cases in February, the same day regulators in the European Union recommended banning the drug.