In October 2018, Health Canada approved Radicava (edaravone) for use in Canada. As edaravone continues to move through the drug access pathway to become available to Canadians, there will continue to be important updates for those in our community who are currently accessing the treatment or interested in doing so. This blog post will be updated as information about edaravone becomes available.

Throughout this process, we will continue to work with ALS Societies across Canada to bring forward the experiences and perspectives of Canadians living with ALS. For this therapy, and for future proven therapies, we will continue to advocate to government to streamline the drug access pathway and improve its transparency.

Commercial Availability:

Starting November 5, 2019, Radicava (edaravone) will become commercially available in Canada. To understand what this means for you please see our FAQ posted below.

What is the current status of edaravone within the drug access pathway? 

In October 2018, Radicava (edaravone) was approved by Health Canada as a treatment for ALS. Since then, the drug has continued to move through the regulatory process to become available to Canadians. Considerations, like the price of the drug and whether provincial drug plans will cover it, have not yet been determined. As of September 30, 2019, Radicava was on the list of drugs in active pricing negotiations with the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA).

What do I do if I am one of the 210 people on the MTPC Edaravone Supply Program? 

Please speak with your ALS clinician for more information on the status of the MTPC Edaravone Supply Program.

Can I still bring edaravone into Canada through personal importation? 

According to Health Canada, they will continue to provide personal importation through to April 2020. This includes people having the medication shipped to them as well as carrying it on their person. Your ALS clinician will also have up-to-date information.

Can I get the drug through private insurance? 

As of November 5, 2019, the drug will be available for people with private reimbursement who receive a positive reimbursement approval through their private insurer. Please speak with your ALS clinician for more information.

What happens if I have no private insurance and am not on the MTPC Edaravone Supply Program? 

Your ALS clinician will have the most up-to-date information on the different avenues to access the therapy. A list of ALS clinics is available at https://www.als.ca/support-services/other-provinces/

Can I pay out-of-pocket for the drug? 

Please speak with your ALS clinician for more information.

Is the drug available through the public healthcare system/public reimbursement?  

Not as of yet. The drug is currently in price negotiations with the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA). Following pCPA negotiations, each province/territory does an independent review of the drug and decides if and how the public drug plan will cover the therapy.

It is our hope that pricing and coverage decisions are not a barrier for people living with ALS to access the therapy, from either a time or affordability perspective. But with no defined timeframe for a decision and no transparency in the process, advocacy efforts are vital in communicating that there is an urgent unmet need within the community.

Advocating to each provincial government is essential to bring forward the voices of the ALS community, so that individual healthcare systems understand why timely, equitable, and affordable access to proven ALS therapies is essential. There will be opportunities to engage in initiatives advocating for an expedited decision – we will provide more information about this in the coming weeks.

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