Raptiva Lawsuits On The Rise After Drug's Market Withdrawal
Genentech's psoriasis drug, Raptiva, is the subject of numerous drug litigation lawsuits around the nation due to its link to serious and often deadly brain infections. More lawsuits continue to be filed against the pharmaceutical company now that the drug has been withdrawn from the market.
Three of the latest Raptiva lawsuits filed
Three people recently filed California personal injury lawsuits against the manufacturer alleging that Raptiva caused them or a loved one to suffer severe injuries or death. According to news reports, the three latest lawsuits were filed on April 9th 2009 in Alameda California Superior Court by:
- Mary Hedrick: Ms. Hedrick developed a brain infection known as herpes viral encephalitis and suffered permanent brain and nervous system damage after taking Raptiva.
- Shirley Boxell: Ms. Boxell's 26 year old daughter, Megan, died from a brain infection after taking Raptiva.
- Bruce Harwell: Mr. Harwell suffered severe leucopenia (a decreased total number of white blood cells in the circulating blood) after taking Raptiva.
Coincidentally enough, the plaintiffs filed their Raptiva lawsuits one day before Genentech decided to withdraw Raptiva from the market.
Raptiva side effects
Raptiva has been associated with numerous side effects such as viral meningitis, invasive fungal disease, bacterial sepsis and a fatal brain infection known as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) which causes changes in vision, difficulty speaking, loss of coordination, personality changes and general weakness. It typically occurs in people with AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) or people undergoing immunosuppressive therapies.
FDA issued black box warning before withdrawal
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a “black box” warning, the harshest warning available, about Raptiva's side effects in October 2008. Then, in February 2009, the FDA again warned about Raptiva's side effects – but this time also advised that three deaths had been linked to PML and Raptiva use. Finally, on April 8th 2009, Genentech agreed to withdraw Raptiva from the U.S. market. It will no longer be available after June 2009.
It's estimated that nearly 46,000 people have taken the drug since it was introduced in 2003. If you've been injured due to Raptiva, contact an experienced products liability attorney whose practice focuses in the area of drug litigation to discuss your situation and find out how the drug's withdrawal from the market might affect you. Of course, if you're still taking Raptiva, contact your doctor immediately to see what other types of medication might suit you better.