K K Jain MD (Dr. Jain is a consultant in neurology and has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.)
Originally released May 15, 2017; last updated May 2, 2020; expires May 2, 2023

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 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 costs 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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