Aimovig is an injectable drug taken by patients once per month that blocks a key molecule involved in causing migraine attacks, according to The New York Times.
FDA said after studying the effectiveness of Aimovig during 3 clinical trials, the researchers found that most patients who took the medicine had at least 1 less migraine per month.
“Aimovig provides patients with a novel option for reducing the number of days with migraine,” said Eric Bastings, M.D., deputy director of the Division of Neurology Products at the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in a statement. “We need new treatments for this painful and often debilitating condition.”
Migraine headaches can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, typically on just 1 side of the head. The events are often accompanied by symptoms including nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.
Migraine attacks can cause significant pain for hours to days, and can be so severe that the pain is disabling, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Aimovig is an expensive type of drug known as a monoclonal antibody. Antibodies are produced in living cells rather than a laboratory. Amgen, the biotech company that manufactures Aimovig, has set the list price at $6,900 a year.
Some industry insiders had expected the initial price of Aimovig to be significantly higher — at $10,000 a year or more — however, high prices have recently drawn harsh criticism from politicians, and some expensive medications have tanked after insurance companies severely limited which patients they would cover.