Just one-third of respondents of the Migraine in America 2018 survey, conducted by Health Union, are aware of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) inhibitors. Those who did know about the therapies had questions and concerns, such as cost, insurance coverage, and side effects.
In May, the FDA approved Amgen and Novartis’ erenumab (Aimovig), marking the first calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) inhibitor for the prevention of migraine in adults. The approval also marked the first treatment designed specifically for the prevention of migraine and the first innovation in the migraine space in nearly 2 decades. Several other drug makers have CGRP inhibitors in their pipeline.
However, just one-third of respondents of the Migraine in America 2018 survey, conducted by Health Union, are aware of these CGRP inhibitors.
Among those who did indicate that they were aware of CGRP inhibitors, 79% said they are very likely to use them. However, more than half reported that they aren’t sure how they integrate them into their treatment plan. More than a quarter said they plan to add the inhibitors to their plans and 23% intend to replace a current medication.
According to Health Union, these low awareness levels could be a result of little information given by physicians. Just 19% of those who knew about CGRP inhibitors became aware through a healthcare professional. The majority learned of the treatments from migraine-related websites, while others learned of them from internet searches, friends, families, and other patients.
Even among those who were aware of the treatment, nearly half had questions or concerns, such as the affordability and cost, insurance coverage, side effects, how they work, when they’ll be available, whether they’re more effective than other treatments, and how they will interact with current treatments.
“The results from the Migraine in America 2018 adequately reflect the conversations around CGRP treatments we’ve witnessed among people on Migraine.com,” said Tim Armand, president and co-founder, Health Union. “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.”
The lack of awareness spans across other treatments as well, according to the survey. Seven out of 10 respondents said that they are unaware of any new migraine treatments entering the market.
The survey also inquired about migraine characteristics and their impact on participants’ daily lives. The overwhelming majority (93%) of respondents were women, who account for over 75% of the 38 million people in the United States who suffer from migraine. A quarter of respondents had 20 or more migraine days per month, 37% had 10 to 19 migraine days per month, and 38% had 1 to 9 migraine days per month. Nearly two-thirds (71%) were diagnosed with chronic migraine, and 91% were seeing a healthcare provider for their migraine.
Just 10% of participants indicated that they had their migraine under control with their current treatment plans. The most common impact on additional health conditions was seen with anxiety (43%) and depression (39%).