Updated October 5, 2020

Updated May 28, 2020 

Originally posted October 22, 2019

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.

Personal Importation

Can I still bring edaravone into Canada through personal importation? 

Health Canada has confirmed that personal importation of edaravone is being extended beyond the initial April 1, 2020 date, until October 1, 2020. They have now extended the date once again from October 1, 2020 until April 1, 2021. 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.

Public Reimbursement: 

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

Not yet in all provinces. Negotiations with the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA) concluded on April 15, 2020. The province of Quebec added the drug to its provincial drug program in late April 2020. The province of Ontario added the drug to its Exceptional Access Program (EAP) in late May 2020. The provinces of Alberta, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Saskatchewan added the drug to their provincial drug programs in June 2020. Nova Scotia added the drug to its formulary (special authorization) in July 2020 and BC added the drug to their provincial drug program in August 2020.

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. To learn more about how you can play a role in advocating for an expedited decision please visit us here. 

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. As of September 30, 2019, Radicava was on the list of drugs in active pricing negotiations with the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA). Negotiations with the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA) concluded on April 15, 2020.

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 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. You can also contact the MTP Patient Support Program at 1-833-211-6878.

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.

More Information:

Posted in: Advocacy