15 July 2021 - Deborah Wilkes
Stada has launched Austria’s first non-prescription migraine treatment containing a triptan.
The Austrian initiative was “tailored to the local market conditions and opportunities”, Stada told OTCToolbox, adding the company “continues to explore opportunities for prescription-to-OTC switches where they would benefit patients and healthcare professionals”.
Stada said Aurasin akut, which is based on zolmitriptan, was a “gamechanger” for migraine sufferers in Austria.
Status of triptans in other countries
The reclassification of zolmitriptan from prescription to non-prescription status in Austria is a significant development as triptans only have non-prescription status for treating migraine in a small number of countries including Germany, New Zealand, Sweden and the UK.
In Germany, Stada markets Naratriptan Migräne as a non-prescription medicine.
Martin Spatz, managing director of Stada Austria, pointed out that triptans had been available without a prescription from German pharmacies for around a decade. “With Aurasin akut,” he added, “this option is now also available to Austrian pharmacists.”
Aurasin akut is supplied in a two-tablet pack, with each tablet containing 2.5mg zolmitriptan. The non-prescription medicine is available exclusively from pharmacies.
Consumer campaign starts in August
From August 2021, Stada will back Aurasin akut with a consumer advertising campaign encompassing radio, print and online.
Stada pointed out that around one in ten Austrians suffered from migraine attacks, with women three times more likely to be affected than men.
The reclassification of zolmitriptan from prescription to non-prescription status in Austria covers the Aurasin akut brand rather than the active ingredient zolmitriptan. Other triptans remain prescription medicines in Austria.
Stada received the non-prescription authorisation earlier this year and delivered the first packs to pharmacies on 12 July 2021.