B.C. to provide coverage for a drug that assists with ALS

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VICTORIA, B.C – Starting Wednesday, August 19, 2020, the Ministry of Health will be providing coverage of Edaravone, or Radicava, for patients living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or its common name ‘Lou Gehrig’s Disease’ after negotiations with manufacturers.

Approximately 480 people in British Columbia have been diagnosed with ALS, a fatal neurodegenerative disease where patients are unable to move, speak, swallow, and breathe once the disease progresses.

Edaravone has been under the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance negotiation since September of last year. Negotiations between Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation and the Alliance have met B.C’s cost-related mandate.

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It’s expected that between 66 to 183 patients will be able to benefit from the coverage just within the first year. The price of Edaravone will be around $120,000 per patient per year.

To help further support the patients living with ALS in B.C., the ALS Society of B.C. has raised $1 million, and the B.C. Government has matched with $1 million. The combined $2 million will be used over the next five years to develop a centre in Vancouver that could benefit those patients in that area but also work on a mobile clinic that could help others.

For more information on drug coverage in B.C., you can visit the Government of B.C website.

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