- The European health officials have approved the first-ever drug (Erenumab) intended to prevent a migraine.
- Novartis said that patients, who have at least four migraines a month, will be able to get the drug privately in September.
- The drug, also known as aimovig, has been approved by the USFDA in May.
Erenumab, the first-ever drug to prevent chronic migraines, has been approved by European health officials. It will now be considered for assessment whether it is appropriate for National Health Service use.
Novartis, the drug manufacturer, said that patients who have at least four migraines a month can avail the drug privately in September after the European Medicines Agency approved a license.
“Erenumab is the first and only licensed treatment specifically designed to prevent a migraine, demonstrating our commitment to developing innovative therapies for people living with some of the most debilitating conditions,” said Haseeb Ahmad, managing director for UK and Ireland of Novartis Pharmaceuticals.
Also known as aimovig, the drug was designed to block the calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor, believed to trigger a migraine attack. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the sale and use of aimovig in May.
Although it will not prevent all migraine attacks, it can make them much less severe and reduce their frequency by 50 percent, the New York Times reported.
Chronic migraines affect up to 12 percent of the US population, according to the American Migraine Foundation. In the UK, over 600,000 people suffer from chronic migraines. Currently, there is no cure for the condition, but multiple treatments are available to help alleviate the symptoms.
According to Novartis, the drug is a monthly injection that can be self-administered at home. It can reduce the average number of days patients suffer from a migraine in a month.
Wendy Thomas, chief executive of the Migraine Trust, said: “We think this decision is wonderful as this new treatment has the potential to help many people with chronic and episodic migraines.”
“Migraine is incredibly painful, and has symptoms that include vomiting and visual disturbance, so getting it frequently can literally ruin lives,” she added.
A chronic migraine is described as “a headache occurring on 15 or more days per month for more than three months, which, on at least eight days per month, has the features of migraine headache,” according to the International Headache Society.
Source: The Guardian