Thousands of NHS patients are set to benefit from a new treatment for acute migraine as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends rimegepant for adults.
In final draft guidance, NICE has recommended rimegepant – otherwise known as Pfizer’s Vydura – for adults who have tried at least two triptans, but did not work.
The treatment is also recommended for adults who either cannot take triptans or they were not tolerated – this is the same for those who have unsuccessfully tried nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and paracetamol.
It is expected to benefit around 13,000 people once it is available on the NHS.
The first treatment to be recommended by NICE for treating acute migraine will soon be available on the NHS.— NICE (@NICEComms) September 14, 2023
Around 13,000 people will be eligible for rimegepant after our committee recommended its use in final draft guidance.
Learn more: https://t.co/L2dWA9hfEI #NICENews pic.twitter.com/G5Sy4gMnzL
The medicine works by blocking the release of a protein called calcitonin gene-related peptide around the brain.
Clinical trial evidence showed rimegepant had a higher likelihood of reducing pain at two hours than a placebo.
Director of medicines evaluation at NICE, Helen Knight, said: “This is the first and only NICE-recommended medicine that can help alleviate the misery of acute migraines, and may be considered a step-change in treatment.”
She continued: “Migraine is a condition described in comments to NICE from carers and people with migraine as an invisible disability that affects all aspects of life including work, education, finances, mental health, social activities, and family.”
Final guidance is expected to be published in October for rimegepant.
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