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

Over the last 50 years, the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) has become the world’s leading nonprofit patient advocacy organization fighting for individuals with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. NPF leads this fight by driving efforts for a cure and improving the lives of the more than 8 million Americans affected by this chronic disease. To date, NPF has funded more than $15 million in research grants and fellowships, and to commemorate 50 years, NPF plans to raise an additional $2 million for early scientific career research programs in 2017 alone. Each year, NPF strives to support, educate and advocate on behalf of more individuals living with or caring for someone with the disease than ever before. As part of that effort, NPF established the Patient Navigation Center to offer personalized assistance to everyone with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. Join our community today and help drive discovery and create community for all living with psoriatic disease.