Premonition: Where would you like to see treatment options for Migraine and Headache Disorders go in the future?
Some information in this post is now out-dated. Updated information will be italicized below.
I would simply like to see Migraine and Headache Disorder research be better funded in the future. Right now, it is severely underfunded publicly. For instance, the National Institutes of Health funding for Migraine and Headache Disorders was less that 1/10 of 1% in 2011. Think about how little that is. One-tenth of 1%.
I would also like to see the FDA approve more migraine treatments. Don't get me wrong, I want treatments used to be safe, and I want the FDA to proceed with caution, but I think they are too slow to approve treatments which gives insurance companies a reason to not pay for treatments recommended by doctors. There are treatments used in other fields, or treatments used in Europe, for example, that have been proven safe, but because the FDA doesn't specifically approve them for migraine, insurance companies have a reason to deny paying for them. Insurance companies shouldn't have such an easy "out" when it comes to paying for treatments that have been proven safe, even if the FDA is dragging their feet.
Because of this lack of research funding, only one innovative drug has been designed for migraine in the past 50 years. Imitrex. There are other drugs similar to Imitrex, drugs in the Triptan family, but they aren't considered "innovative" because they are so similar to Imitrex. And there are other drugs used for Migraine, a few even FDA approved for Migraine, but they are hijacked from other fields, and weren't developed specifically FOR Migraine. Imitrex is the only truly unique drug developed specifically for Migraine in 50 years. THAT seriously needs to change. We need researchers dedicated to developing treatments specifically for Migraine and Headache Disorders. I would LOVE to see that happen. That takes funding. It's all tied together.
First comes the funds, then the research, then the new treatments, then the people with Migraine and Headache Disorders start to see some improvement in their quality of life. Ultimately, that's what I want. I just want us all to have improvement in our quality of lives. Whatever it takes for that to happen--let's do that. Soon. Today. Yesterday! Let's go!
As of May, 2018, there is now a new class of "innovative" medications created solely to prevent migraines! They are CGRP inhibiting medications. The first drug of this class is Aimovig. Two other similar medications were introduced in 2018 as well, Ajovy and Emgality. All three are injections that can vary from once monthly to every 3 months. More medications in this class are in the pipeline. Some will be oral instead of injectable, and I believe some might work as an abortive (like a triptan) and not just be for prevention. This is, of course, HUGE for the migraine community. Speak to your doctor if you are interested. They are expensive and insurance coverage has been sketchy, but most manufacturers have special discount programs as well. Be sure to ask about that too! I discuss my experiences with Aimovig and Ajovy in later posts.
June, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is issued by FightingHeadacheDisorders.com