NICE recommends migraine drug Ajovy for use on NHS

Some 10,000 people in England could benefit from Teva Pharmaceuticals’ migraine drug, Ajovy (fremanezumab), says NICE in final draft guidance published this week.

Fremanezumab costs around £5000 per year at its list price but Teva has offered a discount to the price which means that it can be considered a cost-effective use of NHS resources.

The draft guidance recommends fremanezumab for preventing chronic migraine in adults where at least 3 previous preventive treatments have failed, opening the way for up to 10,000 people to receive it on the NHS in England.

The clinical trial evidence shows that fremanezumab works better than best supportive care (which usually consists of acute treatments for migraine symptoms) for preventing chronic migraine in people who have already tried 3 preventive treatments.

The recommendation also includes people with chronic migraine for whom botulinum toxin type A has failed. New evidence submitted from the company shows that fremanezumab may be beneficial in these people.

“We are pleased that the company has been able to work with us to address the concerns highlighted in the previous draft guidance so that we are now able to recommend fremanezumab as an option for people with chronic migraine when several other medications have failed,” said Meindert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

Fremanezumab works by targeting the process by which proteins cause blood vessels in the brain to swell, leading to the symptoms associated with migraines. It is given as a monthly self-administered injection.

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