Price of first FDA-approved ALS treatment in 20 years limits patient access at VCU Medical Center

At the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis clinic at Richmond, Va.-based VCU Medical Center, patient access to the first FDA-approved ALS treatment in 20 years remains limited by restricted insurance coverage and the sheer cost of the drug, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch.

Estimates suggest that a single treatment of the drug, Radicava, costs $1,000, leading to a price tag of $150,000 to $180,000 per year.

In clinical trials, Radicava slowed the progression of ALS by 33 percent, giving patients an additional year to 18 months of functional life.

The FDA approved Radicava to be used on any patient; however, most insurance companies are refusing to cover patients who had the disease for more than two years, according to Scott Vota, DO, director of the ALS Clinic at VCU Medical Center.

"The majority of our [ALS] patients are getting denied," Jason Wong, MD, assistant professor of neurology at VCU Medical Center's ALS Clinic, told the Richmond Times Dispatch.

Even though claims are being denied, the team at the clinic is fighting to expand insurance coverage of the new treatment.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars