NHS will not pay for a crucial migraine drug

NHS has announced the unavailability of a migraine drug outside of Scotland. The drug, Erenumab, also known as Aimovig has been described by some as “life changing”. Furthermore it is the first bespoke migraine drug available, which is determined by doctors as a “huge deal.”

Reports allege, the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) which approves and evaluates drugs for England has rejected the drug, in addition to doubting if the new drug was worth the money. The Scottish Medicines Consortium has however approved the drug for patients with chronic migraine, only if other treatments had failed. Charities in addition claimed it was a “very bad day” for migraine suffers.

At present, heart failure medicines and former epilepsy and anti-wrinkle drug Botox are used in order to prevent migraine. Experts claim there are however some people who do not respond to any kind of available treatments.

Erenumab on the other hand is a drug which is solely produced in order to prevent migraine. The drug uses antibodies to alter the activity of chemicals in the brain responsive to both sensitivity to light and sound and to pain induced by migraine. Based on results from the trials, it was determined that erenumab reduced the number of migraines to half each month, especially for a third of patients who were difficult to treat.

The final decision taken by NICE was published on its website. It stated there was “substantial uncertainty in the evidence for the clinical and cost effectiveness of erenumab”.

The drug price charged by the company Novartis to NHS is not revealed. Company reports however allege, the price “reflects the clinical value” of erenumab.

Based on a statement released by the British Association for the Study of Headache Council said it was difficult to understand the approval of treatment in Scotland, but not in the UK.