Life-changing drug for chronic migraine approved in Scotland

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) announced that Aimovig (erenumab) has been accepted for adults who have previously tried at least three prior preventive treatments that have failed.

Life-changing drug for chronic migraine approved for use in Scotland
Life-changing drug for chronic migraine approved for use in Scotland

This means that eligible patients in Scotland will have access to the first treatment designed specifically to prevent migraine to be funded by the NHS.

Chronic migraine is defined as more than 15 headache days per month of which more than eight involve migraine symptoms.

The drug has been found to reduce the duration of the debilitating symptoms, such as extreme head pain, nausea and vomiting.

Read More: A teen who saw doctor 15 times about headaches told she has aggressive cancerThe Migraine Trust welcomed the move which follows the rejection of Aimovig, for routine NHS use in England by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in January.

Gus Baldwin, Chief Executive of The Migraine Trust, said: “This is an important milestone for migraine treatment.

“Despite being an extremely painful and debilitating condition that is highly prevalent, people with migraine have so far only been able to take preventive treatments that were designed for other conditions.

“We know these new generation of migraine drugs are effective and we’re delighted that Aimovig will now be available to people in Scotland with chronic migraine on the NHS. It is important that we say thank you to the SMC on behalf of patients.”

Aimovig works by blocking the CGRP receptor which is involved in physiological processes associated with migraine. A clinical trial programme involving 2,500 adult migraine patients was carried out before approval.

READ MORE: Celebrating the lives of two giants of medicineDr Alok Tyagi, Consultant Neurologist at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow, said: “Aimovig has been shown to reduce the average number of monthly migraine days in both episodic and chronic migraine patients, including those who have tried and not had success with existing treatment options.

“The announcement represents a significant milestone for people living with this debilitating condition and marks a new era of migraine management in Scotland.”

SMC chairman Dr Alan MacDonald said: “From the evidence provided to us by patient groups, we know that our decision on erenumab will be very welcomed by those suffering from chronic migraine who have not responded to previous treatment.”