A New ‘Life-Changing’ Migraine Prevention Drug Has Just Been Approved

Anyone who suffers from migraines knows just how debilitating they can be. With symptoms ranging from nausea and light-sensitivity to vision and digestion changes and severe pain, it’s a terrible experience that no one should have to go through. Now they may not have to anymore, thanks to a new migraine prevention drug that’s just been approved in the UK.

  1. It’s called fremanezumab, also known as Ajovy. On March 12, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published its final guidance for the drug’s approval, which should “[open] the way for up to 10,000 people to receive it on the NHS in England.”
  2. This is migraine prevention made simple. The drug will take the form of monthly injections that sufferers will give themselves, and it will be available at first to those who are chronic sufferers of the debilitating illness for whom other treatments just haven’t worked. The Migraine Trust describes chronic sufferers as those who have 15 or more headache days a month.
  3. It works better than most other treatments available. According to the report by NICE, since fremanezumab works as a migraine prevention drug rather than one that treats symptoms, it’s way more effective than other treatments, which is incredible. After all, it’s much harder to treat symptoms once they appear. Wouldn’t it be better to prevent them from cropping up altogether?
  4. While the drug is expensive, it won’t be for consumers. Ajovy is said to run about £5,000 a year, but Teva Pharmaceuticals, the company behind it, has been able to provide the UK’s National Health Service with a discount so everyone wins. “Chronic migraines are extremely debilitating and can significantly affect a person’s quality of life,” said Meindert Boysen, director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE. “We are pleased that the company has been able to work with us to address the concerns highlighted in the previous draft guidance so that we are now able to recommend fremanezumab as an option for people with chronic migraine when several other medications have failed.”
  5. The migraine prevention drug should be available over the next month or so. Now that it’s fully approved, doctors should be able to prescribe fremanezumab to chronic migraine sufferers in the coming weeks. It’s unclear whether or not (or when) this treatment will make it to the US or other world markets, but it’s certainly an encouraging start.

Jennifer has been the managing editor of Bolde since its launch in 2014. Before that, she was the founding editor of HelloGiggles and also worked as an entertainment writer for Bustle and Digital Spy. Her work has been published in Bon Appetit, Decider, Vanity Fair, The New York TImes, and many more.