Extremely intense migraines, accompanied by vomiting, marked almost all of Valérie’s life. “I felt like I was there but I had such a headache that I was outside my body in fact, she says. It was like my brain was trying to get out of my head. “

Blocked receptors

Valérie’s sensations clearly reflect the origin of migraines: the dilation of the blood vessels that supply the brain. It is precisely this process that a whole new category of treatment is tackling.

These are new molecules, antibodies, directed against a receptor that is involved in the pain and dilation of the arteries that we see in migraines, explains Dr Véronique Marcaud, neurologist at the Paris Saint-Joseph Hospital Group. By blocking the receptor, we can stop the migraine headache. “

Last chance treatment …

With a monthly injection, this basic treatment completely eliminated Valérie’s migraines for almost a year. ” I don’t know what it’s like to have a headache anymore. My friends are realizing that I am no longer to say “I am not well.” “

And Valérie is not the only one to notice such a change. “This is really a last-line treatment for very severe migraines that escape all other treatments”, says Dr Marcaud. And so indeed, I have some patients who had 12.15 migraine attacks per month and whose lives were hell that have come back to life completely. “

… whose price hinders reimbursement

But the treatment of Valérie, like two other antibodies created since by other pharmaceutical companies, are blocked at a stage unknown to the general public. They have indeed obtained a Marketing Authorization at European level.

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But it is then for the French authorities to decide if they deserve to be reimbursed by Social Security and if so, at what price. This evaluation has been started by the Haute Autorité de Santé. However, faced with the weakness of the data provided by the laboratories, it considered that these treatments deserved to be reimbursed but were not superior to those which already exist.

This mixed assessment complicates the negotiation between the ministry and the laboratories which ask for high prices for these antibodies whose production is complex … Some of our European neighbors have granted a tariff of 500 euros per month of treatment.