The SMC approves eptinezumab (Vyepti) to treat episodic and chronic migraine

This follows last month’s NICE approval of it

13th February 2023

We welcome today’s announcement by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) that eptinezumab (Vyepti) has been approved for use within the NHS in Scotland for the treatment of episodic and chronic migraine. It follows last month’s approval by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for its use on the NHS in England.

Eptinezumab is given by infusion (drip) into a vein once every 12 weeks. It is one of a number of new generation of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) antibody drugs, which are the first medication specifically designed to prevent migraine. This approval improves treatment options for people affected by migraine.

The SMC has said that the drug should be available for patients who experience migraine on four or more days a month and who have already failed to respond to at least three other migraine preventive drugs. Migraine preventives are medicines usually taken daily to prevent or reduce the number and severity of migraine attacks.

Importance of access to this medication

Health Boards in Scotland now have three months to comply with this recommendation.

However, our report published in 2021 highlighted how many migraine patients that were eligible for this CGRP antibody medication were struggling to access them. Dismissed for too long revealed that only seven Health Boards in Scotland (out of 14) replied to our Freedom of Information requests and stated that eligible patients could access CGRP treatment.

Therefore, while it is good news that there is another treatment option for people living with migraine, it’s crucial that those who are eligible can actually access it.