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NICE 'unconvinced' by effectiveness of botox for migraine prevention

February 17, 2012

NICE has rejected botox as a preventative treatment for migraine headaches in its latest draft guidance.

Botox (botulinum toxin) injections are unlikely to be approved as a preventative treatment for migraine headaches on the NHS in England and Wales, according to new draft guidance.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) says it is unconvinced by the evidence it has seen to date and wants manufacturer Allergan to provide more information before it makes a final decision later this year.

Unless the institute changes its mind, adults who are prone to migraine headaches will have to rely on their private medical insurance or pay for the injections themselves.

Professor Carole Longson, director of the Health Technology Evaluation Centre at NICE, confirmed: "Our independent committee is asking Allergan to provide further information and analysis as part of this public consultation, so that it has sufficient evidence to develop sound advice for the NHS.

"Without this additional evidence, potentially we will be unable to advise the NHS that this drug is good value for money for these adults because there are currently too many uncertainties."

Wendy Thomas, chief executive of the Migraine Trust, said the charity was disappointed by the draft guidance.

She told WebMD that it would be "unfortunate if this treatment is denied to those who have exhausted all other options and those who have responded well to the treatment".

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