Survey Finds Migraine Patients Largely Unaware of Newly Available CGRP Medications
—Patients aware of these new medications ‘very likely’ to use them—
PHILADELPHIA – August 9, 2018 – People living with migraine recently gained another significant tool to effectively manage their condition when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first treatment to target calcitonin-gene-related peptides (CGRP). However, only one-third of respondents of Migraine In America 2018, a national survey by Health Union, LLC of people impacted by the condition, are even aware of CGRP therapies.
CGRPs are the first medication developed specifically for the preventive treatment of migraine. The first of these therapies was approved on May 17 of this year, and multiple pharmaceutical companies currently have their own versions in clinical development.
Among survey respondents aware of these medications, 79 percent said they are at least “very likely” to use them. Despite this, more than half said they aren’t sure how they will use them in their treatment plan; more than a quarter plan to add the CGRPs to their plans while 23 percent intend to replace a current medication.
Only one in 10 survey respondents found their migraine to be under control – represented by the top two boxes on a seven-point scale – with their current treatment plans. To this point, one respondent mentioned “looking forward to CGRP treatment” because, up to this point, “all preventative medications have either caused terrible side effects or were not effective.”
Despite the hopeful sentiment, nearly half of respondents familiar with the medications still had questions or concerns about CGRPs. These included affordability and cost, insurance coverage, side effects, how they work, when they will be available, whether they are more effective than their current treatments and how they will interact with current treatments.
Low awareness levels of CGRP treatments among patients could be due to little information received from physicians about the new medications. Only 19 percent of those aware reported they found out about CGRPs via a healthcare professional. More than half learned about CGRPs from migraine-related websites. Other sources included internet searches, friends, family and other patients.
“The results from Migraine In America 2018 adequately reflect the conversations around CGRP treatments we’ve witnessed among people on Migraine.com,” said Tim Armand, Health Union president and co-founder. “People are very excited about what these treatments could potentially mean for their condition management, but – plain and simple – they have a lot of questions and concerns. Since there haven’t been as many CGRP-related conversations on the physician level, we hope people living with migraine can come to our community and get the information they need while sharing their experiences with others.”
This lack of patient awareness doesn’t just involve CGRP treatments. About seven in 10 of all respondents said they are not aware of any new migraine treatments coming to market.
In looking for any way possible to control their condition, eight in 10 respondents said they leverage alternative therapies. For example, more than a quarter have used marijuana to treat migraine. Other alternative therapies and approaches include vitamins, exercise and avoiding triggers.
Migraine In America 2018 surveyed 4,356 U.S. respondents – all diagnosed with migraine – from March 30 to May 17, 2018. A summary infographic of the results is available on Migraine.com; additional survey results may be available upon request.
About Health Union, LLC
Health Union integrates the power of human connection and technology, uniting people in the shared experiences of life with chronic health conditions. The company creates condition-specific online ecosystems – publishing original, daily content and continuously cultivating social conversation – to support, educate and connect millions of people with challenging, chronic health concerns. Today, the Health Union family of brands includes 19 online health communities, including Migraine.com, MultipleSclerosis.net, Blood-Cancer.com and Type2Diabetes.com.