Members who receive healthcare through Point32Health Inc.’s programs will now be able to access a device called Nerivio.
The makers of a prescription digital therapeutic designed to treat migraines and pain have reached a deal to launch a one-year pilot program with a Massachusetts-based health insurer.
Theranica Bio-Electronics, Ltd., a company focused on using digital tools to treat neurological pain, announced an agreement with Point32Health, Inc., the parent company of the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and the Tufts Health Plan, last month.
Under the terms of the deal, Points32Health will make Theranica’s Nerivio therapeutic available to its commercial insurance members for 12 months. Nerivio is a wearable device that fits on a patient’s upper arm and is controlled by a smartphone application. It is meant to treat chronic and episodic migraines in people 12 years and older.
Michael Sherman, M.D., MBA, M.S., Point32Health’s executive vice president and chief medical officer, noted that migraines affect an estimated 10% of the population.
"We are excited to work with Theranica to offer Nerivio as a drug-free solution to our members experiencing acute migraines and recurring attacks,” he said, in a press release. “This pilot highlights our commitment to offering access to a wide range of medical devices and tools that support healthy living.”
Nerivio has been cleared by the FDA as a migraine treatment and is available on a prescription basis. The therapy is drug-free. Instead of drugs, the device uses remote electrical neuromodulation to stimulate an endogenous analgesic mechanism in the patient. The process, known as “conditioned pain modulation” can be initiated at the onset of a migraine in order alleviate symptoms, the company said.
Theranica is also investigating use of the therapy as a preventative tool to decrease the number of migraines a patient experiences.
Sait Ashina, M.D., an assistant professor of neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, said the expanded availability of Nerivio is important because it broadens the potential treatments available to patients.
“Many of my patients have found Nerivio to be highly efficacious for them,” Ashina said, in the press release. “Given the multifaceted complexity of migraine, it’s essential that patients have access to a wide range of therapies, both pharmacological and drug-free.”
Theranica said the device can be used as a standalone treatment or in combination with other therapies.
Once prescribed, the company delivers the armband device directly to patients’ homes. The device is good for 12 treatments, after which it can be recycled, and a new device can be dispensed.
The deal with Point32Health is the latest agreement Theranica has reached to increase the availability of Nerivio. In June, the company announced that Costco would add Nerivio to its member prescription program. Last year, the company signed an agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs to allow veterans to access the therapy.
“We are dedicated to making Nerivio accessible to people with migraine who seek cost-effective, chemical-free therapies to manage this debilitating disease,” said Alon Ironi, Theranica’s CEO. “We look forward to working with Point32Health and with the healthcare providers participating in this pilot, and to forging additional strategic collaborations to ensure wide scope access to this disruptive-technology therapy.”