National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK has rejected Novartis’ migraine prevention drug Aimovig (erenumab) saying the drug is not a cost-effective use of the NHS resources.

In its draft guidance, the pricing watchdog said that the clinical trial evidence for Aimovig is generally insufficient and doesn’t fully represent patients seen in the NHS.

NICE reviewed the use of the drug to prevent chronic and episodic migraine in adults who have four or more episodes of migraine each month and have been non-responsive to at least three other preventive therapies.

Aimovig costs approximately £5,000 per year, which is higher than what is considered acceptable by NICE, especially when there is substantial uncertainty about the long-term effectiveness of the drug.

NICE Centre for Health Technology Evaluation director Meindert Boysen said: “Erenumab is a promising new preventive treatment for migraine that has been shown to be clinically effective compared with best supportive care.

“Erenumab is a promising new preventive treatment for migraine.However, there was not enough evidence to suggest that it is more effective than botulinum toxin type A for people with chronic migraine, which NICE already recommends.”

“However, there was not enough evidence to suggest that it is more effective than botulinum toxin type A for people with chronic migraine, which NICE already recommends.

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“And for both the chronic and episodic migraine populations there was no evidence to show that erenumab is effective in the long-term in people for whom 3 previous preventive treatments had failed.”

Boysen added that the organisation will allow Novartis to address the highlighted issues before making the final decision at the end of the month.

Statistics revealed that nearly 190,000 migraine attacks occur every day in England. Usually, migraine drugs are aimed at addressing the associated episodes.

Currently available migraine preventing drugs are intended for the treatment of other conditions, and could lead to significant side-effects or no response.

A calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor (CGRP-R), Aimovig has been developed specifically for the prevention of migraine. It is the first of its kind to receive European Commission (EC) approval in August last year.

The drug can be self-administered or given by a trained person every four weeks using the SureClick autoinjector pen.