New migraine drug now available in England and Wales through NHS
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After getting approval from the USA in 2020 and European Union in 2022, the new drug to treat migraine is now available to thousands of people in England and Wales.
Uk's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), the drugs regulator, has recommended eptinezumab for preventing migraine in about 164,000 adults where at least three previous preventive treatments had failed. The drug, also called Vyepti, is taken in a hospital every 12 weeks as an intravenous infusion. The drug has been found to be as effective as three other drugs already approved for injection at home – erenumab, fremanezumab and galcanezumab.
All four medicines are calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) inhibitors, which work by targeting how proteins cause blood vessels in the brain to swell.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved eptinezumab based primarily on evidence from two clinical trials (Trial 1/ NCT02559895 and Trial 2/ NCT02974153) of 1741 subjects with chronic or episodic migraine headachesrials were conducted at 212 sites in United States, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine and European Union.
In November 2021, the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended the granting of a marketing authorization for the medicinal product Vyepti, intended for the prophylaxis of migraine. The applicant for this medicinal product is H. Lundbeck A/S. Eptinezumab was approved for medical use in the European Union in January 2022.
Migraines are common, affecting around one in five women and around one in 15 men. They usually begin in early adulthood. As well as throbbing head pain, many people suffer other symptoms such as feeling sick, being sick and increased sensitivity to light or sound. Eptinezumab costs about £5,870 for a year’s treatment, though the pharmaceutical company Lundbeck has agreed to provide it to the NHS at a confidential discounted price, Nice said.