Amevive (alefacept) voluntarily discontinued in the U.S.

Effective Nov. 16, 2011, Astellas Pharma U.S. Inc. (Astellas) voluntarily discontinued the promotion, manufacturing, distribution and sales of Amevive® (alefacept)—an immunosuppressant drug used to treat moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis. According to Astellas, the decision to discontinue Amevive was driven by business needs.

Amevive's current supply disruption was not a factor in discontinuing the product. Additionally, the decision to discontinue the drug was not based on any specific safety concern nor was it the result of an FDA-mandated or voluntary product recall.

The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends that patients currently taking Amevive consult their doctor about a transition plan to an alternative therapy as soon as possible.

"It's very important for patients to first speak with their physician before they stop taking their Amevive treatment," said Dr. Jerry Bagel of the National Psoriasis Foundation Medical Board.

Patients on Amevive can access its support programs, such as the Astellas Reimbursement Services and Patient Assistance Program, through March 16, 2012.

For questions, please contact Astellas Medical Information Department at 1.800.727.7003.

About the National Psoriasis Foundation

Serving its community through more than 50 years of patient support, advocacy, research, education, and funding, the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) is the world’s leading nonprofit fighting for individuals with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The NPF mission is to drive efforts to cure psoriatic disease and dramatically improve the lives of more than 8 million individuals in the United States affected by this chronic immune-mediated disease. As part of that effort, NPF created its Patient Navigation Center to offer personalized assistance to everyone with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. To date, NPF has funded more than $21 million in research grants and fellowships that help drive discoveries that may lead to more and better treatments and ultimately a cure. Learn more at