15th October 2020

NICE gives chronic and episodic migraine patients access to ground-breaking new drug

Approved for use within the NHS in England and Wales

The Migraine Trust warmly welcomes today’s (15 October) announcement by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) that galcanezumab (Emgality) has been approved for use within the NHS in England and Wales for the treatment of both chronic and episodic migraine.

Emgality, manufactured by Eli Lilly, is one of a ground-breaking new generation of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) drugs specifically designed to prevent migraine. Prior to their development, migraine preventive options only included drugs that have been developed for other conditions and then repurposed for migraine.

The approval means that, for the first time, eligible patients who have either chronic or episodic migraine in England and Wales will join those in Scotland in having access to this new class of drug on the NHS. In January of this year, the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) approved the use of CGRP drug fremanezumab (Ajovy) in the NHS in Scotland for both chronic and episodic patients.

“This is an important moment for people in England and Wales with migraine. For the first time, both chronic and episodic migraine patients across England and Wales will be able to access an effective drug on the NHS that has been specifically designed to prevent migraine attacks. Migraine is an excruciating and debilitating neurological disorder that significantly impacts the lives of those who live with it. Access to preventive treatment that was developed to prevent migraine attacks will change many people’s lives.
"We’re now calling on the Department of Health in Northern Ireland to follow suit and endorse this guidance without delay so eligible migraine patients across the whole of the UK can access this ground-breaking class of preventive medication.” Gemma Jolly, Head of Information and Support Services at The Migraine Trust