Injectable migraine treatment approved

But there’s a catch: it’s expensive

The first in a new class of drugs for preventing migraine, the long-acting injectable medication erenumab has been approved for use in Australia.

Erenumab has been registered by the TGA as a treatment targeting the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor for migraine prophylaxis in adults.

The 100% human monoclonal antibody blocks the activation of the CGRP receptor, which is associated with migraine pathophysiology.

But the drug, marketed by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Australia as Aimovig, is not listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), and the cost could be prohibitive for many patients.

The number of migraine days was reduced in patients given the drug compared with placebo in two trials: one for 12 weeks on 375 patients with chronic migraine averaging 18 migraine days per month; and another for 24 weeks on 312 people with episodic migraine averaging eight migraine