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Once-A-Month 'Life-Changing' Drug Has Been Approved To Treat Migraines On NHS

Once-A-Month 'Life-Changing' Drug Has Been Approved To Treat Migraines On NHS

A 'life-changing' drug has been approved for use on the NHS and could be the first that prevents migraines.

According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), around 10,000 people could benefit from the injection in England.

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Following a clinical trial, it was found that fremanezumab (also called Ajovy and made by Teva Pharmaceuticals) works better than the best supportive care - which usually consists of acute treatments for migraine symptoms.

NICE has said the drug should be available for patients living with chronic migraine who have already failed to respond to at least three other migraine preventive drugs. Patients take the drug as a monthly, self-administered injection.

It is believed that the injection could help up to 10,000 people in the UK alone. Credit: PA
It is believed that the injection could help up to 10,000 people in the UK alone. Credit: PA

Meindert Boysen, director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE, 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"We are pleased that the company has been able to work with us to address the concerns highlighted in the previous draft guidance so that we are now able to recommend fremanezumab as an option for people with chronic migraine when several other medications have failed."

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Chief Executive of The Migraine Trust Gus Baldwin said: "We are delighted that for the first time chronic migraine patients 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.

"We are particularly pleased that the patient evidence we submitted to NICE was referenced as a supporting factor in the approval granted today.

"We would like to thank NICE for listening to the voices of chronic migraine patients, who have been united in their call to be allowed access to this drug on the NHS. Many people we spoke to told us this drug had been 'life-changing' for them.

"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."

The Migraine Trust defines chronic migraine as when a person experiences fifteen or more headache days per month, including having a migraine on eight or more of those days.

Migraine preventives are medicines usually taken daily to prevent or reduce the number and severity of migraine attacks.

Current preventive options include drugs that have been developed for other conditions and then re-purposed for migraine, such as beta blockers or anti-depressants.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: uk news, UK, NHS

Rebecca Shepherd

I'm Becky - a journalist at LADbible. I graduated with a First Class BA in Journalism before going on to cover criminal court cases, medical tribunals and breaking news for the national media - which inevitably and eventually became as glum as it sounds. Can often be found rocking a bag for life - which I made a 'thing' way before Rihanna. You can contact me at [email protected]