Migraine sufferers call for ‘life changing’ drug to be made available on NHS

Rebecca Speare-Cole
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Migraine sufferers call for ‘life changing’ drug to be made available on NHS

Migraine sufferers are calling for a "life-changing" drug to be offered on the NHS in England.

Administered by a monthly injection, Aimovig ​could help those who have not responded to other preventative treatments.

The healthcare advisory NICE rejected the drug for the NHS in England in January because of its cost, but the NHS in Scotland approved it in April.

Migraines affect around one in seven people, according to the National Migraine Centre

One in seven people suffer from Migraines (Unsplash)

More women suffer from them, and they usually start affecting people when they’re teenagers.

Londoner Nathan Gayle, 28, suffers from around 20 headaches a month and told BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat: “I have tried so many types of medications.

“I’ve not found anything that can stop it or prevent it. If Aimovig worked, it would change my life.

“When I have a migraine I can’t see, any noise gives me excruciating pain, foreign smells hurt, light is a definite no-go, I get really dizzy and I can't stand up.

Nathan was a classroom assistant but had to give up teaching because he was having so much time off.

"I was getting migraines so frequently and the intensity was so high that it wasn't fair on the school, the children I was working with or myself."

"Depression is definitely something I feel during an episode," Nathan says. He says he hates feeling isolated while stuck in a darkened room.

Dr Giorgio Lumbru from Guys and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust already prescribes Aimovig at its Chronic Pain Management and Neuromodulation Centre.

"For the first time we have a specific treatment designed for migraine that works really well," he told the BBC.

"Being able to improve the quality of life of patients for whom there was nothing else to try has been a great satisfaction.

"The drug is injected under the skin once a month and it acts as a preventative treatment.

"If you look at data you see patients that fail all the other treatments can have their life back when they use Aimovig."