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Amid growing demand for ALS treatments, a preliminary analysis finds an experimental medicine that may be approved later this year by U.S. regulators would not be cost effective if it carries the same high price as an older medication.

The analysis examined Radicava, an intravenous medicine that was approved five years ago and will soon be available in an oral formulation, with a medication that is currently under review by the Food and Drug Administration. Developed by Amylyx Pharmaceuticals, the newer drug is also an oral formulation and has sparked optimism among ALS patient groups that are clamoring for useful treatments.


In running the numbers, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review determined that Radicava is vastly overpriced at $171,000 and should only cost $2,200 annually in order to be cost effective based on a metric known as a quality-adjusted life year, or QALY. This measures life expectancy and the quality of the remaining years of life when using a given treatment.

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