REVIEW PAPER
Edaravone, a new therapeutic option in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Evaluation of challenges in the drug accessibility
Łukasz Puchała 1  
,   Stanisław Maksymowicz 2  
,   Tomasz Siwek 3  
,   Marcin P. Mycko 3  
 
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1
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, Collegium Medicum, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland
2
Department of Psychology and Sociology of Health and Public Health, Collegium Medicum, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland
3
Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Collegium Medicum, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Łukasz Puchała   

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Medicine, Collegium Medicum, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Warszawska 30, 10-028 Olsztyn, Poland. Tel.: +48 508 550 544
Submission date: 2019-11-21
Final revision date: 2020-07-20
Acceptance date: 2020-07-20
Online publication date: 2020-08-06
 
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease, with about 3–4 years median survival from the onset of symptoms. Only two therapies for ALS have been proven effective in slowing down this condition, riluzole and edaravone. Recently approved edaravone, either original or generic, is not registered in Poland. It can only be used after special approval of Polish Ministry of Health. The costs of payment have to be covered by patient in full.

Aim:
In this article we will describe the public demand of edaravone in Poland for ALS treatment and problems related to prescribing the drug, like procedures and prices.

Material and methods:
This article is based on the available literature and on data obtained from Polish Ministry of Health.

Results and discussion:
The high cost of therapy affects the relatively widespread use of generic medicines not registered in Europe. We identify mechanisms of the demand and supply for various formulations of edaravone in Poland. These information should be of relevance to many other countries, especially within the European Union.

Conclusions:
Medicines available from licensed manufacturer are more expensive than offers available on-line. Although original chain of distribution presents with unrivaled warranty to avoid purchasing of adulterated drug we report the challenges of the edaravone treatment initiation in ALS patients in Poland.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST
None declared.
FUNDING
None declared.
 
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