Recommendation for NHSScotland
gammaCore should be available for a 3-month trial for people experiencing cluster headaches. Evidence demonstrates that gammaCore can reduce the frequency and intensity of cluster headache attacks and improves quality of life.
gammaCore is not effective for everyone with cluster headache. Treatment with gammaCore should only continue for people whose symptoms reduce in the first 3 months.
Cost modelling estimates that, in the first year of treatment, adding gammaCore to standard care is cost saving compared with standard care alone by an average of £450 per person. This estimated cost saving:
- is based on the first 3-month period of gammaCore use being offered free of charge;
- largely results from less use of subcutaneous sumatriptan by those who respond to gammaCore treatment.
The Scottish Health Technology Group (SHTG) recommendation is based on guidance produced by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in 2019. The original NICE guidance was modified following an SHTG adaptation process.
NHSScotland is required to consider the Scottish Health Technologies Group (SHTG) advice.
What were we asked to look at?
gammaCore is a handheld, patient-controlled, non-invasive vagus nerve stimulator used for preventing and treating cluster headaches. SHTG were asked to consider the guidance produced by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), and whether it could be applied to NHSScotland.
Why is this important?
The NICE guidance noted the devastating impact that cluster headaches can have on the lives of sufferers and the desperation that can result from ineffective treatment.