In May 2012 NICE (the National Institute for Clinical Excellence) recommended Botox for the treatment of some chronic migraineurs in England and Wales.
Migraine Action had been involved in the process, providing survey results, feedback from members, position statements etc. in support of this treatment option.
This was great news for the many chronic migraineurs for whom standard preventative treatments give little benefit, or those who are unable to take preventative treatments for any reason.
There continues to be difficulties for some patients who are suitable for Botox treatment in accessing this on the NHS, but it is hoped that seeing the benefits of Botox (patients needing fewer consultations in the future etc.) and having an increasing number of specialists suitably trained in the UK to give Botox treatment for chronic migraine will encourage more local NHS Trusts to fund the treatment, which can be life changing.
If you have had Botox, or have had trouble accessing the treatment on the NHS, we would be interested to hear your experiences. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Botox denied in Scotland for the second time
In 2013 The SMC (Scottish Medicines Consortium) re-evaluated Botox as a preventative treatment for chronic migraineurs after the drug was resubmitted by the manufacturers Allergan for consideration. Migraine Action had submitted a patient interest group submission paper in support of this application. Unfortunately the treatment was once again rejected. The treatment may be submitted again in the future by the manufacturer and we will update you if this is the case.
Background in Scotland
In April 2011 Migraine Action was surprised and disappointed to learn that the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) decided not to recommended BOTOX® for prophylaxis of headache in adult patients with chronic migraine. The SMC said that overall Allergan did not present a sufficiently robust clinical and economic analysis to be recommended for use by the NHS Scotland. Allergan strongly rebut this as there is significant evidence from two landmark phase III clinical trials showing positive benefit of BOTOX® on clinical and quality of life outcomes of relevance to patients with chronic migraine.
Allergan has continued to work with the SMC, clinicians in Scotland and Migraine Action in order to bring this useful preventative treatment option to patients with chronic migraine.
In July 2010 Allergan announced that BOTOX® (botulinum toxin type A) had been licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK for prophylaxis of headaches in adults who have chronic migraine.
To be eligible for this treatment, individuals need to experience headaches for 15 or more days per month, with migraine on at least 8 of these days. This is the first prophylactic (preventative) treatment to receive a specific licence for patients with chronic migraine.
However, although BOTOX® has been licensed, this does not mean that it is automatically freely available as a treatment on the NHS. This is because NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence), an independent body that decides on the clinical and cost effectiveness of treatments based on thorough assessment of the best available evidence, must make an assessment of the clinical and cost effectiveness of this treatment within the NHS.
You can order a copy of our leaflet on BOTOX® for chronic migraine here.
For a list of clinics offering Botox for the treatment of chronic migraine click here