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New Preventive Migraine Drug Gets the Green Light

People who experience episodic migraine know how painful and debilitating the attacks can be. Now, these patients have a new option for stopping attacks before they start.

The FDA approved a new innovative medication that can prevent episodic migraine attacks. Episodic migraine is defined as migraine occurring less than 15 days a month. The anti-calcitonin gene-related peptide drug – often called “CGRPs” – has proven effective in staving off migraine attacks.

The new drug is the only oral CGRP specifically designed for prevention, making it a welcome addition to the small pool of treatment options for episodic migraine.

Connecting Treatment to Those Who Need It

Developing new treatment options is important, but it’s just the first step. Those who need relief from migraine are, too often, barred from accessing innovative medications. Physicians estimate that 40% of patients with migraine should be on preventive treatment, but only 13% get it.

Insurers use cost-cutting tactics like step therapy and prior authorization to restrict patients’ access to breakthrough treatments. Sometimes the approaches are even applied to medications that have been around for years.

About Migraine Disease

Migraine disease is the third most prevalent illness in the world, affecting 12% of the U.S. population and impacting nearly one in four American households.

Migraine attacks account for approximately 1.2 million emergency room visits a month. Beyond the hardship patients experience, the condition also costs businesses and the economy an estimated $31 billion due to absenteeism, lost productivity and medical expenses.

Considering the wide-ranging and costly impact of uncontrolled migraine, insurers and policymakers would do well to ensure those who experience the painful condition can access the medications they need.

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