Efalizumab was approved for moderate to severe psoriasis in 2003 based on studies in approximately 2700 patients, of whom only 218 were exposed to the drug for more than 1 year. In 2009, after more than 46,000 patients were exposed to efalizumab, the drug was withdrawn from the market after 3 confirmed and 1 suspected case of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) were spontaneously reported. As PML is very rare, it is extremely unlikely that the 4 reported cases were due to chance and given that PML occurs primarily in patients who are immunosuppressed, the association is likely causal. The identification of PML as a serious, but statistically rare risk of efalizumab demonstrates the strengths and weaknesses of the current drug approval and pharmacovigilance processes for fully measuring the safety of a drug. Patients and clinicians need to be aware of the relative completeness and limitations of existing safety data of a drug when selecting a treatment.