Amgen Inc won U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval on Thursday for the first drug in a new class created to prevent migraine headaches in adults.
Express Scripts, the largest US manager of prescription benefits, has called for Amgen to reconsider its strategy of setting a high list price for new drugs and then lowering the cost for health plans through hefty rebates.
Aimovig is the first drug created to treat the severe headaches experienced by millions of Americans. "Aimovig offers self-administration with proven efficacy across a spectrum of patients, including in those who have previously tried other preventive therapies without success".
Erenumab will cost $575 for a once-monthly dose of 70 mg or 140 mg, or $6900 annually. The drug is a pretty large step for those who suffer from migraines, as most pre-existing medications do not prevent all attacks, but can make them less severe and reduce their frequency.
In fact, 85 percent of migraine patients stop taking drugs for the disorder within a year. The most commonly reported adverse events through all trials have been injection site reactions and constipation.
The drug, called Aimovig, produced by pharmaceutical giants Amgen and Novartis, is meant to be administered through a monthly injection, and would cost patients $6,900 annually, Amgen said.
Companies including Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Eli Lilly & Co and Alder Biopharmaceuticals Inc are developing similar treatments.
Aimovig is just one of four different treatments now in development that target CGRP receptors.