Novartis announces Aimovig® (erenumab) accepted for use by the Scottish Medicines Consortium for the prevention of chronic migraine
Apr 08, 2019
People in Scotland living with chronic migraine for whom at least three prior preventive treatments have failed will now have access to Aimovig® via NHS Scotland 
Less than half of migraine patients are satisfied with their current treatment options and have been waiting years for new developments 
Frimley, UK, April 8, 2019 – The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) today announced that Aimovig® (erenumab) has been accepted for restricted use within NHS Scotland for the treatment of adults with chronic migraine for whom at least three prior preventive treatments have failed . 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 fifteen headache days per month of which more than eight involve migraine symptoms . Being incapacitated by the symptoms of this complex neurological condition for over half the month severely impacts personal and professional lives, leaving many people unable to work at all . Every year 43 million workdays are lost in the UK to migraine-related absenteeism alone , with the 2010 Equality Act classing migraine as a disability should the condition have a long term, substantial impact on day to day or work-related activities .
“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,”
said Alok Tyagi, Consultant Neurologist at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow.
“Today’s announcement represents a significant milestone for people living with this debilitating condition and marks a new era of migraine management in Scotland.”
“We are delighted that people with chronic migraine in Scotland will now be able to access Aimovig. At the same time, it is disappointing that the restriction means it will not be NHS funded for episodic migraine, which can be equally as devastating,”
said Haseeb Ahmad, Managing Director UK, Ireland and Nordics, Novartis Pharmaceuticals & Country President UK, Novartis.
“Aimovig is the first in a new class of preventive migraine treatments to be adopted by the NHS. Our focus now is to continue working closely with NICE to ensure that it is made freely available to eligible patients throughout the UK as quickly as possible.”
The SMC acceptance follows a draft rejection of Aimovig for routine use via the NHS in England from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in January 2019 . Following the high volume of comments received by NICE on the draft guidance, the appraisal of Aimovig for preventing migraine is ongoing, with final guidance expected to be published in the second quarter of 2019.
Aimovig is the first and only licensed treatment specifically designed to prevent migraine by blocking the CGRP receptor, which is involved in the physiological processes associated with migraine. Aimovig has been studied in several large global, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies to assess its safety and efficacy in migraine prevention. More than 2,500 adult migraine patients have participated in our clinical trial programme across the four placebo-controlled Phase II and Phase III clinical studies of between 12 weeks and six months in duration and their open-label extensions ,,,. The safety data for Aimovig to date are consistent, demonstrating a similar adverse event rate to placebo in clinical trials in patients with both episodic and chronic migraine ,,,. The most common adverse events observed were injection site reactions, constipation, muscle spasms and pruritus. Aimovig can be self-administered at home, or by another trained individual, every four weeks without the need for additional monitoring.
Migraine is a common and disabling neurological condition that causes a wide variety of painful and debilitating symptoms, including but not limited to severe headache . Latest research shows that around 10 million UK adults (aged 15-69) experience migraine , with estimates showing there are over 190,000 migraine attacks every day . Migraine is more prevalent than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined  and classified as the highest cause of years lived with disability amongst those aged 15-49 . Despite this, migraine remains undiagnosed and undertreated in at least 50% of patients . An estimated £9.7 billion a year is lost in the UK alone due to migraine through direct and indirect costs: in treating patients and in lost productivity .
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