Migraine becoming less of a headache but there are still unmet needs to address, says GlobalData

Whilst the prognosis for migraine patients has never looked brighter, there are still unmet needs to address says GlobalData a leading data and analytics company, as this years Migraine Awareness Week (2-9 Sept), sets out to educate the public about the condition and reduce the stigma for patients.

According to GlobalData’s report, ‘PharmaPoint: Migraine – Global Drug Forecast and Market Analysis to 2026’, the most pressing unmet need in migraine diagnosis is improved physician education. The report reveals that the low migraine diagnosis rate originates from a variety of factors including, a lack of any diagnostic tests, similarity to other indications such as cluster and tension type headaches and a lack of time for a physician to take a proper patient history. The company estimates that the migraine market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.3% to $8.7B by 2026 and if these environmental unmet needs could be addressed, it is likely the market would see even further growth.

Rahael Maladwala, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, commented, ‘‘Just one year ago, treatments for both episodic and chronic patients were unable to provide adequate care for migraineurs for reasons including co-morbidities, side effects, and lack of efficacy. However, a promising late stage pipeline is coming to fruition over the next few years which will mean migraine treatment is becoming less of a headache. Nonetheless, while treatments for migraine have improved over the last year, they can only have an impact if a patient is formally and correctly, diagnosed with the condition.”

Previously, treatments for migraine were limited to triptans for episodic migraineurs, which left a lot to be desired in terms of efficacy and a variety of repurposed drugs for chronic migraineurs, which often had safety issues on top of poor efficacy profiles.

The launch of the CGRP monoclonal antibodies from Amgen/Novartis (erenumab), Eli Lilly (galcanezumab), Teva (fremanezumab), and Alder (eptinezumab), as well as Eli Lilly’s Lasmiditan, however, has turned fortunes around and meets a significant amount of unmet need in the market. Looking even further to the future, Allergan’s gepants (ubrogepant and atogepant) will provide the same benefits at the monoclonal antibodies, but with a favourable route of administration and potentially at a discounted price.

Maladwala concludes, ‘‘In the short term, improving migraine awareness must be one of the key goals in the market. Physician training and awareness initiatives such as Migraine Awareness Week will play a key role in this and hopefully raise the profile of migraine research, which should ultimately have a long term goal of discovering diagnostic biomarkers which can efficiently diagnosis migraine in patients.”

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