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New NICE recommended migraine pill to help 170k patients

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Migraine affects a total of 4.5 million people in the UK  

Patients suffering from chronic and episodic migraine attacks are set to benefit from a groundbreaking recommendation by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) regarding a new medication.

The atogepant, a first-of-its-kind preventive drug for migraine, offers hope for those grappling with this debilitating condition and can be taken orally.

Published as part of the final guidance draft, NICE has greenlit the atogepant, also known as Aquipta and manufactured by AbbVie, as an option for preventing both chronic and episodic migraines in adults.

Specifically, this recommendation is for individuals who have experienced at least four migraine days per month and have failed to find relief with at least three previous preventive treatments.

With approximately 4.5 million people in the UK affected by various forms of migraine, this new recommendation marks a significant advancement in migraine management as the condition significantly impacts patients’ day-to-day activities as well as places a heavy burden on the NHS and the wider economy.

Chronic migraine, characterized by at least 15 headache days per month, eight of which exhibit migraine features, poses a particularly challenging health burden. On the other hand, episodic migraine entails fewer than 15 headache days each month.

Unlike injectable drugs that are typically prescribed after three failed preventive treatments, the NICE-endorsed Aquipta offers patients an orally administered alternative.

Helen Knight, director of medicines evaluation at NICE, describes this recommendation as a testament to the organization’s commitment to prioritizing patient care while “ensuring value for taxpayers”.

Health Minister Andrew Stephenson hailed the new treatment, emphasizing its potential to transform the lives of millions affected by migraines.

How it the new migraine pill works

By preventing recurring migraine attacks, especially when other medications have proven ineffective, Atogepant offers renewed hope for those grappling with this painful and debilitating condition.

Administered in tablet form, Atogepant works by blocking the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor in the body.

CGRP, a protein found in the sensory nerves of the head and neck, is implicated in migraine pain by causing blood vessels to dilate and triggering inflammation.

The endorsement of Atogepant by NICE represents a significant milestone in migraine treatment, providing patients with a more accessible and effective means of managing their condition and reclaiming their quality of life.

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