8th April 2020

NICE pauses appraisals of all CGRP drug treatments due to coronavirus (Covid-19)

NICE says it’s unable to say when this or other paused appraisals will resume

During the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has temporarily paused or delayed the appraisals of all calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) drug treatments for the prevention of migraine.

This decision also applies to the final approval of fremanezumab (Ajovy).  NICE issued the Final Appraisal Document (FAD) recommending the use of fremanezumab for chronic migraine patients on 12 March 2020.  Pending no appeal, the final guidance approving its use on the NHS in England and Wales was expected to be issued on 15 April 2020.

NICE has also said it is unable to say at this stage when this or other paused appraisals will resume.

NICE has taken this decision in these unprecedented circumstances in order to prioritise guidance that is directly related to the pandemic or otherwise deemed ‘therapeutically critical’.  This will also help ensure that any NHS or care staff involved in the production of NICE guidance are able to return to the front line.

Everyone at The Migraine Trust understands the incredible pressure NICE is under and we have no doubt that it is making the right decision in the circumstances.  We are also very concerned about the impact this decision will have on chronic migraine patients and hope that NICE will be able to resume the appraisal processes as quickly as possible.

Patients who are worried about what this decision may mean for them or who would like more information about managing their migraine during this unsettling time can contact our Information Helpline on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10-4 on 0203 9510 150 or at any time using our contact form.

We will continue to monitor this situation closely and will update people affected by migraine when we learn more.