Health Canada’s personal importation policy and associated guidance can be found in the following two documents POL 060  and GUI 084.  Once a product is legally brought into Canada under this policy, the administration of it would be overseen by practice of medicine provisions.  There are no federal limitations on who administers the medication, including self administration or administration by a healthcare professional.   Specifically, with respect to edaravone, there are no federal barriers to the administration of the medication by a nurse.


We’ve had some issues when people see wording that says that edaravone is “not approved for use” in  Canada.  It is true, as you know, that it hasn’t been submitted, reviewed and granted market authorization, but importation of a 90 day supply under the personal importation policy is a legal mechanism for access.  Just raising it, because some healthcare professionals have read similar wording and interpreted it as indicating that the administration of edaravone obtained under this mechanism is in some way not appropriate.

Access (purchase) Edaravone from Japan and have it shipped to your doorstep in Canada - follow the steps below

​Edaravone is a product accessed through Health Canada's personal importation policy 

RIGHT TO TRY

NOTE: Edaravone (which is made by Kyorin) is the generic version of Radicava/ Radicut (which is made by MTPharma). Dr Hiide Yoshino supplies edaravone because radicava is more than 2 times as expensive.

Below are our recommended steps to acquire the medicine. If you have any questions about the medication or other questions related to ALS, please email us at:

  1. Consult with your Neurologist:  prior to receiving the medication (Edaravone being an IV medication), meet with your healthcare practitioner and institution as to what is required for administration and someone (example the local hospital, Bayshore Healthcare, and/or homecare providers) will administer the medication once acquired.
  2. Contact Dr. Hiide Yoshino, Yoshino Neurology Clinic, Ichikawa, Japan. His email address is yoshino-iin@silk.ocn.ne.jp.  Dr. Yoshino was the principal investigator involved in the clinical trials which were used for the approval of treatment of ALS in Japan, South Korea and the USA.
  3. In an email, provide Dr. Yoshino with the following:
    1. copy of letter confirming your diagnosis "ALS" or "MND" with your MD's signature.
      • You do not need medical records such as MRI nor CT Scan. Just a 'one-page' letter confirming your diagnosis is enough. Dr. Yoshino will discuss your results and discuss release of the medication
    2. surname/name
    3. DOB
    4. residence address with postal code
    5. health condition/your present status: 
      • most recent lung capacity results
      • your present mobility: are you able to walk alone without help or with a walker?​
      • how about drinking, speaking, breathing, no bulbar weakness ?
      • are you able to eat and dress yourself ?
  4. ​If Dr Yoshino approves release of the medication, contact Satoshi Obara at obarasatoshi@yahoo.co.jp. Mr. Obara will supply banking information to use for transferring the funds. Upon receiving a bank transfer from yourself or a family member, Mr. Obara will purchase the medication from Dr Yoshino's ALS Clinic, package it, courier it to your home and charge a small fee. Today, the total cost is 298,600 Japanese yen.
  5. The estimate cost is: 298,600 yen.  Total = (1. + 2. + 3.) 
    1. 243,600 yen = 120 ampules 
    2. 35,000 yen = courier cost with insurance
    3. 20,000 yen = Mr. Obara's service fee
      • Due to the increasing demand for the medicine, they are limiting the amount they can send on each order to 120 ampules (12 boxes x 10 ampules per box). 120 ampules will last approx. 5 months or 60 days supply of 'treatment protocol)
      • Due to changing of exchange rates, the Canadian dollar amount will keep changing.  Always check the price with Mr. Obara as medication pricing or courier services may change. 
      • Allow 2 - 3 weeks between Mr Obara receiving the funds and receiving the medication via courier in Canada. 
  6. Mr. Obara when couriering the medication, will include a letter 'certificate' from Dr. Yoshino for Canada Customs explaining the contents of the package.  You will also want to show this 'certificate to your healthcare practitioner.
  7. As to Health Canada, there is no documentation required from Health Canada.  The main criteria to keep in mind is a 90 day treatment supply is allowed under the Personal Importation regulations of Health Canada.  Edaravone is currently not authorized for sale in Canada and as such, it has not been assessed by Health Canada for safety, quality and efficacy and has not been issued market authorization in Canada. It is also not currently listed on Health Canada’s Prescription Drug List (PDL) (https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/drug-products/ prescription-drug-list/list.html) nor identified as a controlled substance under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) (http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-38.8/page-1.html).
    • Non PDL/non-CDSA drugs may be imported into Canada for personal use in accordance with the following conditions.
    • Individuals may be permitted to import a single course of treatment or a 90-day supply based on the directions for use, whichever is less, of a non-PDL/non-CDSA drug.
    • The drug must be shipped/carried in one of the following.
      • Hospital or pharmacy dispensed packaging;
      • Original retail packaging; or
      • Have the original label affixed to it which clearly indicates what the health product is and what it contains.
    • Health Canada works closely with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to verify that imported health products meet the requirements of the Food and Drugs Act and its Regulations. The CBSA can refer shipments of health products to Health Canada to undergo an admissibility determination in order for Health Canada to make a recommendation for refusal or release to the CBSA. Not all shipments are referred to Health Canada by the CBSA. Product admissibility decisions at the border are based on the available information at the time of import.
    • Individuals importing Edaravone in person should have documentation to support the personal import which may include a letter from the doctor indicating the personal use of the specific medication for the individual or for someone under their care (accompanying evidence of the importers relationship with the patient should be available).
    • Couriers may also be used to import a personal quantity of Edaravone. These shipments may also be set aside by CBSA for Health Canada to inspect and thus it is important that the products be clear as to their contents, quantity, use instructions and destination so that an admissibility determination can be readily made based on personal import considerations noted above.
    • Importers must be careful to ensure that any storage, packaging requirements that may be applicable to the safe transport of the drug are followed. The manufacturer should be contacted where these conditions are unknown.
    • As Edaravone is currently not classified in Canada, it is important prior to importing the drug in future to confirm that its status has not changed and that it has not been added to the PDL or CDSA which have specific regulatory requirements in place.
    • For further information on the personal importation of health products, Health Canada’s “Guidance Document on the Import Requirements for Health Products under the Food and Drugs Act and its Regulations” (GUI-0084) can be found on the Health Canada website at the following link: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/compliance-enforcement/importation-exportation/guidance-document-import-requirements-health-products-under-food-drugs-act-regulations-0084.html
    • For any additional questions you may have related to the importation of health products, please contact Health Canada’s Border Compliance Program at BIU-UIF@hc-sc.gc.ca for assistance.