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NICE Approves Chronic Migraine Drug For NHS England

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recently published its final draft guidance that recommends the use of a new treatment for preventing chronic migraines on the NHS in England.

Fremanezumab, which is also known as Ajovy, is made by Teva Pharmaceuticals and is now set to be offered to adults where at least three previous preventative treatments have failed to stop chronic migraines.

NICE revealed that the clinical trial evidence shows that fremanezumab is more effective than best supporting care in people within this group.

Teva Pharmaceuticals also submitted new evidence indicating that the treatment may also be beneficial to people who suffer from chronic migraines and for whom treatment with botulinum toxin type A has been ineffective.

The firm has offered a discount on the list price of the drug, which costs £5,000 a year, to allow it to be offered to patients through the NHS in England.

NICE director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation Meindert Boysen said that the organisation is “pleased” Teva Pharmaceuticals was able to work with NICE to address its concerns that were highlighted in the previous draft guidance.

“Chronic migraines are extremely debilitating and can significantly affect a person’s quality of life,” he asserted.

Having access to this treatment when several other medications have failed could therefore have a significant positive impact on patients who suffer from chronic migraines.

Fremanezumab works by targeting the process by which proteins cause blood vessels in the brain to swell, which leads to the symptoms associated with migraines. Patients receive it as a monthly self-administered injection.

The NICE guidance also states that treatment with fremanezumab should be stopped, however, if a patient doesn’t experience at least a 30 per cent reduction in the frequency of their migraines within 12 weeks of starting treatment.

In the USA last month, the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approval for the use of Nurtec ODT, also known as rimegepant, for relieving pain after the onset of a migraine.

The oral pill, which was developed by Biohaven, “can provide fast pain relief, return patients to normal function within an hour and remain effective for up to 48 hours for many patients”, Reuters reported.

The news provider also revealed that rimegepant is being investigated for its use in preventing migraines as well as relieving symptoms once a migraine has started.

According to Biohaven, 86 per cent of patients who were treated with a single dose of the pill didn’t use migraine rescue medication in the following 24 hours.

Vlad Coric, chief executive officer at the firm, told Reuters: “We think there’s a value-add for payers and patients by not having to pay for two different drugs – one for acute and one for prevention.”

With a greater number of migraine drugs becoming available, and further research being conducted in this area, patients who suffer from these debilitating headaches will no doubt be hopeful that they are able to benefit from the advances in this kind of medication.

If you need a pharmaceutical alcohol supplier to help you as you develop new treatments for migraines or other conditions, get in touch with us today to find out how we could help.