Galcanezumab, erenumabou, fremanezumab… Several new migraine treatments have been available for a year. But as reported What to choose, these are still not reimbursed by health insurance. What pose a problem because these new antimigraine drugs have, according to the health authorities, a real potential.
They could relieve patients suffering from chronic and severe migraines, without cardiovascular involvement. The prescription of these drugs is very supervised. Only people who have tested two recognized preventive treatments, and which have not worked, can claim it. And only migraine doctors can prescribe them.
The price blocks
So what’s the problem ? According to the High Authority for Health (HAS), current knowledge does not make it possible to ensure that these new injectable drugs are more effective than the treatments already available. For example, their effectiveness has not been compared with topiramate (epitomax) or beta-blockers (metoprolol/lopressor, propranolol/avlocardyl). In the current state of things, no refund possible.
Another blocking point: the price of drugs. The latter is set by the Economic Committee for Health Products (CEPS) according to one rule: the price established by the manufacturer cannot be higher than the cheapest reference treatment. In this case, it is topiramate, which is marketed for around ten euros per box. Depending on the pharmacies, injectable migraine medications are sold between 245 and 270 euros. And today, manufacturers are still not ready to lower their prices so much.