The first drug to prevent migraine has been approved by European health officials. According to a report in The Guardian, the drug Erenumab will now be examined by English and Scottish health agencies to determine if it is viable to be used by officials of National Health Service.
Manufacturers of Erenumab, Novartis, however, have said that the drug can be privately bought by patients — who suffer from four migraines in a month — after its license is approved by European Medicines Agency. Also known as Aimovig, the drug was intended to block the calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor that is thought to be instrumental in migraine activation.
In UK alone, chronic migraine affects more than six lakh people. And even though a number of treatment options exist to reduce the intensity of the symptoms, there – at present – is no definitive solution for it.
The manufacturers have said that Erenumab is the first and the only licensed drug designed primarily to prevent migraine. It can be administered without much help with an auto-injector pen once a month.
“Erenumab is the first and only licensed treatment specifically designed to prevent migraine, demonstrating our commitment to developing innovative therapies for people living with some of the most debilitating conditions,” Haseeb Ahmad, managing director for UK and Ireland of Novartis Pharmaceuticals said.
The new treatment seems to have 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. That is why it is important that it becomes available to patients as soon as possible,” Wendy Thomas, chief executive of the Migraine Trust.