Saturday, June 17, 2017

Hope at a High Price

And for many of us who can’t afford an $8000+ price tag,
that’s exactly what we’ll continue doing…and doing…and doing…
I’ve been following the CGRP research and trials with both hope and trepidation–hope because they’re the first drugs developed specifically for migraine prevention and have shown a great deal of promise, and trepidation because the projected price tag is astronomical for the average sufferer.
This article gives a lower projected price than many I’ve seen, but it’s still far beyond reach for many of us.
How long will we have hope extended with one hand and snatched away with the other? Many of us with chronic migraine are disabled and unemployed due to this terrible disease. We can’t afford many CURRENT treatments with a much lower price tag, much less this one.
What good is a highly promising medication if those who need it most can’t afford it?
– Selena

"Most people think of migraine as headaches. But head pain is commonly accompanied by severe, disabling symptoms like nausea, vomiting, dizziness and sensitivity to light, sounds and smells. The disease is far more widespread than realized: About 38 million Americans, or 12% of the population, have them, according to the non-profit Migraine Research Foundation. 
But treatment options are limited. Just a handful of drugs were developed specifically for migraine, though drugs for other conditions including blood pressure and epilepsy have been found to work, too. Still, there haven’t been any new drugs in development for some time, experts say. 
A promising new group of drugs, named after calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), a neurotransmitter tied to migraine, has changed that. CGRP drugs are being developed both to prevent migraines before they happen, and to stop attacks once they occur. 
The former category is closest to being available for patients. About seven million patients would likely get the treatment, estimates Evercore ISI analyst Umer Raffat, with an $8 billion to $10 billion potential market size. 
Amgen Inc. AMGN, -1.03%  has already filed for approval, and Eli Lilly & Co. LLY, -0.21%  and Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. TEVA, +1.61%  have plans for later this year.
Alder BioPharmaceuticals Inc. ALDR, -0.85% is also developing a preventive CGRP drug, and further research on the drug class is expected at the American Headache Society’s annual meeting, which began Thursday and runs through Sunday.
 
But price and access remain a persistent question. Projections begin at about $8,500, concerning patients and headache experts alike. 
Dr. Lawrence Newman, director of the headache division at NYU Langone Medical Center and immediate past president of the American Headache Society, says that could add on to the “double whammy” of having migraines, which describes the symptoms and stigma patients face. 
“I’m concerned that the patient will again be exposed to that double whammy,” he said. “They’re made to suffer because of the disease they have and because the insurance company won’t allow them access to a potentially effective therapy.”

Read the full article at New migraine drugs have promise — and a $8,500 price tag.

#MigraineAndHeadacheDisorderAwarenessMonth #chronicmigraine #NotAHeadache #migrainenews #MHAM