Florida Defective Drug Lawyers, rueziffra.com/Allan Ziffra-Defective Drug Attorney/ 06/01/2009
WiredPRNews.com — Psoriasis, the terribly undesirable skin condition, makes something as simple as venturing out into the public an outright miserable experience. There is no cure-all for this auto-immune disease that affects approximately 2 to 3 percent of the world’s population, with an estimated 5.8 to 7.5 million being Americans. As a result, psoriasis sufferers are eager to take medications that alleviate psoriasis-related symptoms, including insatiable itching, bleeding at the surface of the skin, unsightly skin patches, and silvery scale-like features covering the skin. Contrary to what some persons believe, psoriasis is much more than a cosmetic problem easily solved by applying over-the-counter moisturizing cream or wearing extra clothes at certain times.
However, in 2003 the FDA approved a drug called Raptiva that has been used by over 46,000 psoriasis victims to subdue the severity of their symptoms. Raptiva is injected once a week and is designed to block the activation and movement of the T cells in the body’s immune system that cause psoriasis. Unfortunately, in the course of working to suppress the T cells, Raptiva simultaneously decreases the efficiency of the body’s disease fighting capabilities. Naturally, this has an adverse affect on psoriasis sufferers by way of placing them at a much increased risk of infection and illness.
However, though Raptiva has been lauded for its ability to dramatically relieve the ugly symptoms associated with psoriasis, Raptiva’s manufacturer Genentech was forced to update its prescribing information in late 2008 and again in early 2009 due to a strong link between Raptiva use and developing a rare and oftentimes fatal disease of the central nervous system known as PML (Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy). It was not until four patients receiving Raptiva died that Genentech issued a phased voluntary withdrawal from the American market.
PML is caused by a virus that significantly damages the central nervous system. PML leads to an irreversible downfall in the functioning of the brain and the nervous system and nearly always causes death or severe permanent disability. Not to mention, Raptiva has also been connected to the devastating nerve diseases Guillain Barre and Miller Fisher syndromes, encephalitis and encephalopathy, meningitis, sepsis, and tuberculosis.
Fortunately for psoriasis sufferers, all sales of Raptiva will be discontinued on June 8, 2009. However, it is ill-advised for Raptiva patients to terminate use of this drug altogether without first consulting with their prescribing physician as this may cause a severe psoriasis flare-up that may require hospitalization. Alternative treatment options are available for Raptiva patients that will allow them to discontinue Raptiva use without having to worry about intense side effects. While there are no screening tests for PML nor are there any medical procedures available that prevent or treat the disease, Raptiva use should be terminated immediately if any PML symptoms appear.
If you or a loved one has injected Raptiva for psoriasis and has experienced symptoms of neurological dysfunction, the Central Florida Defective Drug Lawyers / attorneys at Rue & Ziffra, P.A., would be more than happy to discuss the merits of your prospective claim. To learn more about pharmaceutical errors and how our firm can help you and your family, visit our Florida Defective Drug Law firm website at www.RueZiffra.com or contact our law offices directly at 1-800-526-4711 or 386-788-7700.