Dr Peter McAllister Discusses Lessons Learned From COVID-19 for Migraine Treatment

January 27, 2021

Telemedicine sprang up very quickly and will stay around to some extent once the pandemic ends, said Peter McAllister, MD, a neurologist, board certified headache specialist, and medical director of the New England Institute for Neurology and Headache.

Telemedicine sprang up very quickly and will stay around to some extent once the pandemic ends, said Peter McAllister, MD, a neurologist, board certified headache specialist, and medical director of the New England Institute for Neurology and Headache.

Transcript:

The American Journal of Managed Care® (AJMC®): Looking to the future of migraine treatment, do you think there will be any lessons learned from the pandemic?

Dr. McAllister: I think that telemedicine sprang up very quickly during the pandemic, out of necessity. We had to. While it's not the ideal way to take care of a patient, it is one way to take care of a patient. I think that when the world comes back to normal, because it's hard to think of it now, but the pandemic will end, there's no doubt about that. I think that telemedicine will still stay around to some extent. In my opinion, there's nothing better than actually sitting with a patient, making non-digital eye contact, etc. But for the convenience sake, and for a quick check-in with a doctor, I think that telemedicine has been a really good thing that's come out of this.

The second thing is the anti-CGRP monoclonal antibodies, these monthly shots, I think have increased in their use, and maybe that will continue. If I have someone who has limited access to their doctor, I want them on a preventive more often than not on a preventive and if I'm going to pick a preventive, I want a very low maintenance preventive. What we know about these CGRP monthly shots, is they tend to be, by and large, well-tolerated with high compliance and good safety and efficacy. I think we're seeing a little shift more toward them and perhaps away from some office-based stuff.

AJMC®: Do you have any final thoughts you'd like to share?

Dr. McAllister: I think that migraine needs to increasingly be recognized as a legitimate chronic medical condition with flare ups and that right now, headache medicine is the most exciting part of neurology because of the discoveries since 2018, 2019, and 2020. Even in a pandemic when patients generally are even suffering more with migraines, we now have a good set of migraine-specific tools to offer them to make their lives more livable.