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FDA Approves New Migraine Relief Drug, Company Offers Free Treatment For Some

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) —  If you’re one of the 38 million Americans who suffer from migraines, there’s new hope.

The U.S FDA just approved a migraine treatment drug Emgality, made by drug giant Eli Lilly.  It is the third medication approved by the FDA this year for the preventative treatment of migraines.

According to a release from Eli Lilly, the drug is a once-monthly, self-administered injection.

The company found in two phase 3 trials that patients on the drug had between a 3.6 and four-day reduction in migraine days per month (to be eligible, patients had to have between four and 14 migraine days per month).

Eli Lilly says the most common side effect of Emgality is injection site pain.  It will be available to patients very soon for pickup at retail pharmacies.

Patients with commercial insurance are candidates to receive Emgality for up to 12 months free as part of Lilly’s patient support program.

Until May, there weren’t any drugs available that were originally approved for alleviating migraines, though other treatments – including Botox and anti-seizure medications – have been used. Pain relievers can also help treat some of the symptoms of migraines.

Lilly announced that it will make the drug available to patients with commercial insurance free of cost for as one year as part of the company’s patient support program.

The price for treatments is listed as being $575 a month, adding up to $6,900 a year.

In a statement, Lilly officials said that they decided to offer the drug for free 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,” President of Lilly Bio-Medicines Christi Shaw said.

It’s reported that more than 30 million adults in the U.S. are impacted by migraines. A person is considered to have migraine disease if he or she experiences five or more headaches lasting between four to 72 hours, according to the American Migraine Foundation.