Edaravone in the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: efficacy and access to therapy - a roundtable discussion

Am J Manag Care. 2018 Apr;24(9 Suppl):S175-S186.


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive and fatal neuromuscular disease affecting approximately 5 out of every 100,000 individuals living in the United States. ALS is associated with 50% mortality within 30 months of initial symptom onset. The rarity of the disease, along with the significant inter- and intra-patient variability in clinical course and a lack of reliable biomarkers, have rendered the development of effective agents to treat ALS a challenge. Because oxidative stress is considered a contributing factor to ALS onset and progression, drugs that eliminate free radicals may protect motor neurons from damage potentially caused by free-radical and oxidative stress. Edaravone is an antioxidant free-radical scavenger approved by the FDA in 2017 for the treatment of ALS. A review of the edaravone clinical development program offers a clearer view of the clinical utility of this agent. Broader treatment success is also influenced by factors such as limited patient access and the restrictive payer environment. Cooperation within the healthcare community, among clinicians, patient advocacy groups, pharmaceutical companies, and managed care payers, must occur to advance ALS management and treatment and improve patient access. Moreover, collaborative discussions are useful in identifying potential solutions to problems currently surrounding patient access.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Disease Progression
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Edaravone / therapeutic use*
  • Free Radical Scavengers / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use*


  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Edaravone