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FDA approves new migraine drug & company offers it free for 1st year to some

Lilly announced that it will make the drug available to patients with commercial insurance free of cost for as long as 12 months

Migraine sufferers will soon have another option to treat their pain – a monthly injection from Eli Lilly and Co. that aims to prevent them from developing the condition in the first place.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week approved Lilly’s Emgality, self-delivered as a subcutaneous injection, for adults.

In the wake of the approval, Lilly announced that it will make the drug available to patients with commercial insurance free of cost for as long as 12 months as part of the company’s patient support program.

The list price of the treatment will be $575 a month, adding up to an annual total of $6,900.

In a statement announcing the decision Lilly officials said that they decided to offer the drug free of costs to some patients in recognition of the overall expense of health care.

“We know the impact high deductible and rising out-of-pocket costs have on families and Lilly takes seriously our role in ensuring affordable access to Emgality for as many patients as possible,” said Christi Shaw, president of Lilly Bio-Medicines.

More than 30 million adults in the United States suffer from migraines, about a tenth of the population. A person is considered to have migraine disease if he or she experiences five or more headaches that last between four to 72 hours and those episodes interfere with daily activity and come with nausea or light and sound sensitivity, according to the American Migraine Foundation.

Only about 10 percent of those who suffer from migraines take a prophylactic medicine to ward off the condition.

Emgality, which will be available at retail pharmacies, went through three trials, involving more than 2,500 patients. The dosage started with an initial dose of 240 mg and then continued each month with a 120 mg dose.

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