The world’s first cure for migraines was approved — and it is expensive

The FDA approved the first drug specifically designed to prevent migraines. And while the drug may signal a new wave of effective treatments for this debilitating condition — which often, moreover, ignored the question is how much suffering from migraines will be able to afford it. Medicine called Aimovig was jointly developed by pharmaceutical companies Amgen and Novartis. It uses antibodies to block the effect of the protein molecule, which plays a key role in the emergence and maintenance of migraine, known as peptide associated with the gene calcitonin, CGRP. In three clinical trials phase III, which sealed the approval of the drug in people who were treated with Aimovig, was found to reduce the frequency of migraine headaches to one to two and a half times a month, compared with a control group on a placebo, without any side effects.

“These drugs will have a huge impact,” he Amaal Starling, a specialist in migraines at the Mayo clinic in Phoenix. “It’s an exciting time for my patients and the General neurologists who treat patients with migraine”.

A migraine — which is much more painful and last longer than the headache — affects, as a rule, more than 10% of the population. Women suffer from migraines three times more often than men, and mostly migraine interfere with the lives of the poor, the elderly and the disabled. The causes of migraine remain unclear, but produce consistent environmental triggers such as certain foods or stress.

Broad-spectrum painkillers like ibuprofen can relieve migraine, but does not always work, plus they have their own side effects. Sometimes they even worsen the course of migraine. Patients will take Aimovig once a month via injection, since the antibody of the new drug stay in the body for some time. Other drugs based on antibodies may require even less supervision. But, as is often the case with the new medication, people will have to pay a round sum for Aimovig: 6900 dollars a year (about 400 thousand rubles). However, part of this cost will be covered by health insurance.

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