Migraine Drug Approved for NHS Use to Help 170,000 Sufferers

The NHS has approved a drug that prevents chronic and episodic migraines, expanding treatment options for some 170,000 sufferers.

Atogepant—sold under the brand name Aquipta and made by AbbVie—provides patients with an option of an oral treatment, instead of injectables.

The drug blocks the receptor of a protein found in the sensory nerves of the head and neck, known as calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). CGRP dilates blood vessels, leading to inflammation and migraine.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has greenlighted atogepant to provide 170,000 patients across the country, who have at least four migraine days a month, and who have tried at least three other treatments that proved ineffective.

“Currently, the most effective options for people with chronic migraines who have already tried three preventative treatments are drugs that need to be injected. The committee heard from patient experts that some people cannot have injectable treatments, for example because they have an allergy or phobia of needles,” said the director of medicines evaluation at NICE, Helen Knight.

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