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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Lilly secures long-awaited PBS listing for its migraine prevention drug

Health Industry Hub | May 12, 2021 |

Pharma News: The long-awaited Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listing of Eli Lilly’s migraine prevention therapy is here.

Last night the Federal treasurer announced that from 1 June 2021, Australians battling chronic* migraine will have PBS access to Eli Lilly’s EMGALITY (galcanezumab), a calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) binding monoclonal antibody. Emgality, was first recommended by the PBAC for listing in July 2019.

Associate Professor Richard Stark, Neurologist at the Alfred Hospital, said, “This is fantastic news for the thousands of Australians at the severe end of the migraine spectrum who endure relentless pain, and a range of other symptoms, on at least half the days in every month”.

“Existing prevention therapies are significantly under-used in Australia, for a range of reasons, which is why new forms of prevention are so important,” Associate Professor Stark said.

Associate Professor Stark said it is critically important to understand that migraine is an unpredictable neurological disorder that is distinctly different to a headache.

“Chronic migraine can be insufferable, with recurrent attacks giving patients little respite or capacity to engage in regular activity,” Associate Professor Stark said.

“Affordable access to prevention therapy has the potential to release thousands of people from this burden,” he said.

Dr Ron Granot, Neurologist from Sydney’s East Neurology, explained that, “Migraine is often misunderstood or trivialised as just a bad headache, but it can shut down the body for days, with people often forced to retreat to a dark, quiet room until the pain, nausea and light sensitivity subside.”

“Chronic migraine is severely disabling, turns an individual’s world upside-down, and can negatively impact every facet of their life – from caring for their children or maintaining personal relationships, to holding down a job or completing their studies,” he said.

“This long-awaited PBS listing puts a specialised migraine prevention therapy within financial reach for the first time for those most severely affected by the condition,” said Dr Granot.

Eli Lilly ANZ General Manager Benjamin Basil acknowledged the challenges in securing a PBS listing for EMGALITY and commended the Federal Government for “partnering to overcome these issues and deliver for thousands of Australians burdened by chronic migraine.”

“This is a tremendous milestone that will be welcomed across Australia,” Mr Basil concluded.

Migraine Australia posted on Facebook “How’s that for a very happy start to Miagraine Awareness Month!”

While Novartis withdrew Aimovig from the PBS process in November 2019, Teva has been continuing its negotiations for the listing of Ajovy.

*Chronic migraine is defined as 15 or more headache days a month, eight of which are migraines, where adequate relief from at least three other prevention therapies have not been achieved.


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