A new medication will be covered for British Columbians with ALS
July 21st, 2023
People living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) will benefit from BC PharmaCare’s coverage of a new medication used to treat this life-altering and rare disease.
On July 19, 2023, sodium phenylbutyrate and ursodoxicoltaurine (Albrioza) was be added to the PharmaCare formulary as a limited coverage benefit. Albrioza is taken orally and works to slow disease progression and loss of functional decline in eligible people living with ALS. In the first year of implementation, coverage is expected to benefit as many as 100 patients in BC.
There are two other therapies available for the treatment of ALS. Edaravone (Radicava) intravenous formulation has been funded as a limited coverage benefit by BC PharmaCare since August 2020. Riluzole (Rilutek and generics) is also covered on an exceptional case-by-case basis.
ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that gradually causes patients to lose the ability to move, speak, swallow and breathe. Patients are typically in their mid-to-late 50s when they present with symptoms and the average survival time ranges from 20 to 48 months.
Learn More: ALS Society of BC