Lilly Study Reveals Less than 30% of People Living with Migraine Take Recommended Prescription Medications

INDIANAPOLIS, June 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) announced today that less than 30 percent of people with migraine are taking a recommended prescription medication, highlighting the need for improvement in migraine care. These data are from the initial cohort of the OVERCOME (Observational Survey of the Epidemiology, Treatment and Care oMigraine) study, which collected responses from more than 21,000 people living with migraine. The OVERCOME study aims to further understand the burden of migraine and stigma experienced by people living with the disease, identify barriers to the appropriate treatment of migraine and assess how the introduction of novel treatment options may influence delivery of migraine care and outcomes. The results were shared during the American Headache Society’s 2020 Virtual Annual Scientific Meeting.

“For millions of people living with migraine, the journey to an appropriate treatment program is fraught with gaps,” said Susan Hutchinson, M.D., Orange County Migraine and Headache Center, Irvine, CA and scientific advisor to the OVERCOME study. “There are a variety of reasons at play, but it begins with the fact that many may not realize what they are experiencing is a migraine and not just ‘another bad headache.’ By increasing understanding of this disease, both among the public and with healthcare providers, we can improve the chances a person living with migraine will take the important step of receiving a diagnosis and ultimately, receive appropriate treatment.”  

Using data from OVERCOME, the authors assessed the proportion of people living with migraine and migraine-related disability – as measured by the Migraine Disability Assessment Scale (MIDAS) – who completed three critical steps in migraine management: 1) actively sought care with a healthcare professional, 2) received a migraine diagnosis, and 3) took a recommended prescription medication1. The objectives were to assess how many respondents completed each step and to understand migraine-related characteristics such as migraine pain severity and related disability, sociodemographic features and where respondents sought care for their migraine.

Among OVERCOME respondents with migraine who may benefit from acute prescription medication and experienced at least mild migraine-related disability (MIDAS>6) (n=12,212), 63 percent sought care (n=7,695) and of those, 75 percent were diagnosed with migraine (n=5,802). Within the diagnosed population, only 59 percent took a recommended acute prescription medication (n=3,401). Overall, only 28 percent of the population completed all three steps to appropriate care.

Among OVERCOME respondents who were candidates for a preventive medication (n=5,873), which includes people who experienced four or more migraine headache days per month and moderate or severe migraine-related disability (MIDAS >11), 69 percent sought care (n=4,053) and of those, 79 percent received a migraine diagnosis (n=3,218). Of those who sought care and received a diagnosis, only 28 percent took a preventive medication for migraine (n=902). Overall, only 15 percent of this population completed all three steps to appropriate care.

“Even in light of recent new treatment options in the field of migraine, we still face an uphill battle as too many continue to be underserved,” said Robert E. Shapiro, M.D., Department of Neurological Sciences, Larner College of Medicine, University of Vermont and scientific advisor to the OVERCOME study. “An important aspect of migraine care that is truly diminished and may contribute to these findings is the stigma felt by many living with the disease. A person’s reluctance to seek care or take medication for their migraine can be rooted in the fear of how a friend, employer, or even a loved one may view them for doing so.”

For both populations, possessing health insurance and higher levels of migraine-related disability increased the likelihood that respondents would complete all three steps. Another common theme across both populations was approximately 10 percent of respondents sought care in an emergency room, urgent care or retail clinic setting only and as a result, were unlikely to receive an accurate diagnosis or take a recommended medication.

“The OVERCOME study provides a snapshot into the current state of migraine in America, while reminding us there is much work to be done,” said Eric Pearlman, M.D., Ph.D., senior medical director, U.S. neuroscience, Eli Lilly and Company. “We are in a golden era for migraine care with the introduction of new therapeutic options for both the acute and preventive treatment of the disease, but if we don’t address the need for better education, less stigma and improved access to care, we are falling short.”

About the OVERCOME Study
The Observational Survey of the Epidemiology, Treatment and Care oMigraine (OVERCOME) study aims to further understand the burden of migraine and stigma experienced by people living with the disease, identify barriers to the appropriate treatment of migraine and assess how the introduction of novel treatment options may influence delivery of migraine care and outcomes.

The OVERCOME study is a prospective, web-based patient survey designed to follow U.S. population samples with migraine for two years following their enrollment. The first population sample of 21,143 began enrollment in 2018. In parallel to this population sample, the OVERCOME study also included 10,000 people who did not have migraine, providing a unique perspective about how migraine is perceived by those who do not have the disease. The second population sample of 20,782 with migraine was initiated in late 2019.

About the OVERCOME Scientific Advisory Board
The OVERCOME study is being conducted by Kantar on behalf of Eli Lilly and Company with expert guidance provided by some of the leading voices in migraine research today, including:

  • Richard B. Lipton (Study Chair), M.D., Department of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Director, Montefiore Headache Center, Montefiore Health System
  • Sait Ashina, M.D., Department of Neurology and Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, and Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Dawn C. Buse, Ph.D., Department of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Clinical Health Psychology Doctoral Program of the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University
  • Susan Hutchinson, M.D., Orange County Migraine and Headache Center
  • Michael L. Reed, Ph.D., President, Vedanta Research
  • Robert E. Shapiro, M.D., Department of Neurological Sciences, Larner College of Medicine, University of Vermont

About Eli Lilly and Company
Lilly is a global healthcare leader that unites caring with discovery to make life better for people around the world. We were founded more than a century ago by a man committed to creating high-quality medicines that meet real needs, and today we remain true to that mission in all our work. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve upon the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. To learn more about Lilly, please visit us at www.lilly.com and www.lilly.com/newsroom/social-channels.  P-LLY

1 Recommended medications refer to those with established/probable efficacy as identified by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN)/American Headache Society (AHS) guidelines (Silberstein SD, et al. Neurology. 2012; 78:1337-1345) and the AHS position statement regarding new migraine treatments (American Headache Society. Headache. 2019; 59:1-18).

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