Historical note and terminology
Edaravone, a free radical scavenger, was approved in Japan for the treatment of cerebral infarction in 2005 and was available in South Korea as well. It was approved for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in those countries in 2015. Edaravone was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2017 and is available in the United States. This is the first approval of a new drug for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis since the approval of the only other drug for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, riluzole, more than 2 decades ago (Rothstein 2017). The drug will be sold under the brand name Radicava, and 1 year of treatment will cost more than $145,000. The manufacturer will provide some copay assistance to patients with commercial insurance and other help to those who are uninsured or face delays in coverage. Those who qualify might even be treated for free.
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