Raptiva is a medication injected to patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, and autoimmune disease that is marked by red or itchy patches on the skin. It is approved for adults who are candidates of whole body therapy or phototherapy. Raptiva works by suppressing T cells. When activated, these cells migrate to the skin and cause inflammation. Because T- cells help the body fight infection, their suppression decreases the function of the immune system and increases the body’s susceptibility to disease.
In 2009 Genetech, the manufacturer of the drug, has announced a recall on Raptiva on the basis of PML, a rare progressive disease that is caused by a virus that affects the central nervous system. Other side effects may include invasive fungal disease, viral meningitis, sepsis, or brain infection.
Potential Raptiva cases are being reviewed throughout the United States. Some Raptiva users have died as a result of PML. In 2008 the FDA issued a black boxed warning to Raptiva on the basis of a rare brain disease caused by the drug as well as other life threatening infections. Genetech has been sued in numerous states such as Michigan and California for the death of patients as a result of taking Raptiva.