Progress in Migraine Care: Much to Celebrate, Much to Do

Eli Lilly and Company  | June 16, 2020

This guest article comes from Eric Pearlman, M.D., Ph.D., senior medical director of U.S. neuroscience at Lilly.

With so much to deal with in light of today’s challenges, it’s tough to step back and think about the good. But for the millions of people living with and treating migraine, there is much to be excited about.

After a drought of treatment innovation that lasted more than 20 years, advancements in our understanding of this debilitating, neurologic disease – both scientifically and societally – have resulted in recent approval of numerous new treatments and more meaningful care approaches. Not only to address specific migraine attacks and the frequency in which they occur, but also to reduce the burden this disease imposes.

These advancements were and continue to be shaped by those living with migraine, health care providers, scientists and advocates with an emphasis on setting a new bar for migraine care. We thank them.

And while we are in the midst of a golden era for migraine care, we can’t rest. With progress comes challenges, both new and existing. Data released during this year's American Headache Society Virtual Annual Scientific Meeting shows that less than 30% of people with migraine are taking an appropriate treatment for their disease. Multiple factors influence this troubling number, including where a person seeks care and their ability to access the medicine a provider prescribes.

Studies using validated health-related quality of life instruments show that migraine has a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, with wide-ranging adverse effects on the physical and emotional aspects of daily living, and effects on family, work and social relationships. These devastating consequences can strip people of their dignity, confidence and productivity. Let's do better. Let’s work to ensure that all people living with migraine – including those who may have migraine but haven’t been properly diagnosed – have access to the treatment and care they need with the least interruptions.

At Lilly, we aim to change the lives of people with migraine and disabling headache disorders by working to provide solutions that lead to a life lived more fully. Beyond developing medicines, we are committed to enabling a new conversation about the disease in partnership with the migraine community and work together to overcome the challenges that stand in the way of better migraine care.