NICE recommends handheld device to treat and prevent cluster headaches

  • NICE
  • 5 Jul 2019

  • curated by Pavankumar Kamat
  • UK Medical News
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National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended a novel handheld device called gammaCore for the prevention and treatment of cluster headaches in a draft guidance.

In a draft medtech guidance published recently, which is currently in public consultation, NICE has indicated that using gammaCore device in addition to standard care (triptans and oxygen) could result in savings of £450 per patient for the NHS in the first year vs standard care alone.

According to the guidance, gammaCore may not work for all patients with cluster headache; hence, it is recommended for routine use only after a three-month trial period demonstrating its effectiveness in reducing symptoms. It is estimated that around 25 per cent of individuals with cluster headache in the UK are likely to benefit from gammaCore.

GammaCore delivers a small electric current through the skin of the neck to modify pain signals via vagus nerve stimulation and can be used to relieve pain at the beginning of a cluster headache or daily for preventing headaches.

Dr Sam Roberts, Chief Executive of the Accelerated Access Collaborative and Director of Innovation and Life Sciences for NHS England, said: "Today’s recommendation from NICE is a great endorsement for this device which the NHS is already offering free of charge to patients to help alleviate painful symptoms and empower them to claim back their ordinary daily lives."