Thousands of patients with the NHS will be able to benefit from a life-changing drug, which has been recommended for patients that have chronic migraines.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published its final draft guidance for the drug, which is called as Fremanezumab.
The drug, which was announced on March 12, 2020, will open the way for up to 10,000 people to receive the treatment on the NHS in England.
The drug, which is taken as a monthly self-administered injection, will be given to adults that are suffering from chronic migraines.
The drug will be used on patients that have tried 3 other treatments with no success.
The Migraine Trust, which offers support for migraine sufferers and promotes research into migraines, defines chronic migraines as when a person experiences 15 or more headaches per month.
To be diagnosed with chronic migraine, you need to have a migraine on eight or more of those days.
Clinical evidence, which is cited b NICE, shows fremanezumab, which is also known as Ajovy, works better than supportive care.
The drug is reportedly going to cost around £5,000 per year.
Meindert Boysen, the director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE, released a statement about the approval.
The statement said, “Chronic migraines are extremely debilitating and can significantly affect a person’s quality of life. We are pleased that the company has been able to work with us to address the concerns highlighted in the previous draft guidance so that we are now able to recommend fremanezumab as an option for people with chronic migraines when several other medications have failed.”
The exact cause of migraines still remains a mystery, but they are thought to be the result of temporary changes in the chemicals, nerves, and blood vessels in the brain.
Symptoms associated with migraines can be the result of proteins that cause blood vessels in the brain to swell.
Fremanezumab, the newly approved drug, works by targeting and blocking this process.
The main aim of the new treatment is to reduce the frequency, severity, length of time a migraine lasts, and to improve the quality life of the host.
Current treatments that prevent migraines include the following:
- Epilepsy medication
- Botulinum Toxin Type A
The treatments above have significant side effects and are not known to be completely effective.
Gus Baldwin, the Chief Executive of the Migraine Trust, released a statement about the new drug.
The statement said, “We are delighted that for the first time chronic migraine patients across England and Wales will be able to access an effective drug on the NHS that has been specifically designed to prevent migraine attacks. Migraine is a painful, debilitating and exhausting brain disease and it is vital that people living with this awful condition have access to the best treatments available.”
The statement added, “We would also like to thank Teva for reaching an agreement with NICE that will allow more patients across the UK to access this drug. We’re now calling on the Department of Health in Northern Ireland to follow suit and endorse this guidance without delay so eligible migraine patients across the whole of the UK can access it.”
Patients that took the drug as part of the study informed that the new medicine has changed their lives.