SMC have accepted BOTOX® as a preventative treatment for chronic migraine

Migraine Action are delighted to hear that the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) have accepted BOTOX® for prophylaxis (prevention) of headache in adult patients with chronic migraine. This news will be gladly received by the estimated 67,000 patients in Scotland who suffer from chronic migraine.

Migraine Action submitted evidence to the SMC in 2016, and are delighted to have played a part in this change.

Chronic migraine is defined as 15 or more headaches per month of which at least 8 are migrainous. Chronic migraine can be a costly and disabling disorder that can have a devastating impact on the lives of patients and their families. Patients suffering from chronic migraine are more likely to visit Accident and Emergency (A&E), general practitioners (GPs) or speciality care physicians than patients with less frequent episodes of migraine3.

The SMC have confirmed that after "careful consideration of all the evidence, the SMC Committee has decided to accept botulinum toxin type A (Botox) for the treatment of chronic migraine for routine use by NHS Scotland. Capturing the views and experiences of patients and carers is an important part of the SMC process and plays a key role in helping our Committee reach decisions."

In keeping with the rest of the United Kingdom, patients will have to have failed at least three first line preventative treatments.

Although distinct from other types of migraine, approximately 80% of chronic migraine patients may not actually be diagnosed. Historically, treatment for chronic migraine has consisted of a combination of acute and prophylactic treatments available either over-the-counter or by prescription, such as triptans, tricyclic antidepressants, beta-blockers and anti-epileptics.

“The SMC’s decision has been welcomed by the Scottish migraine community as a much needed step change in providing access to care and treatment for people suffering from Chronic Migraine. Dr Alok Tyagi, Consultant Neurologist, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow said, “We welcome this decision. The routine availability of this treatment will lead to a significantly improved quality of life for patients reducing their unnecessary suffering, use of NHS resources and days missed from work.”

Simon Evans, Chief Executive of Migraine Action comments: "We are extremely pleased to learn that the SMC have accepted BOTOX® for the prophylaxis (prevention) of headache in adult patients with chronic migraine. Access to migraine treatments, such as BOTOX®, has a huge impact for migraineurs and their families. Individuals who have been unresponsive to other migraine medications deserve access to the best treatments."

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