Blog: Specialty Pharmacy Management of Migraine Patients

By  Lily P. Duong, PharmD, RPh, Chief Clinical Officer, Therigy

It is estimated that migraines are the third most prevalent illness in the world, affecting 39 million people in the U.S. and one billion globally. This debilitating condition is known to impact a patient’s quality of life, with a reported 90 percent of sufferers being unable to function normally while experiencing symptoms. Compared to patients with episodic migraine, those with chronic migraine have worse socioeconomic status, reduced health-related quality of life, increased headache-related burden, and greater psychiatric and medical comorbidities.

To better help these patients and the specialists who treat them, Therigy has developed a dedicated migraine care plan within TherigySTM, our flagship patient-centered therapy management software platform. This disease state care plan assists specialty pharmacies in clinically managing patients who are prescribed this drug therapy to treat or prevent chronic and episodic migraine headaches.

With the introduction of AimovigTM (erenumab-aooe) to the market (Amgen and Novartis drug) and the expected release of other new biologic migraine treatments in the coming months, the care plan comes at just the right time for specialty pharmacies to integrate comprehensive assessments, evidence-based therapy management, reporting metrics and outcomes to provide the best possible care.

New Migraine Treatments

In Mid-May 2018, Amgen received FDA approval for Aimovig, the first approved treatment developed to prevent migraines by blocking the CGRP-R (calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor).

Three other anti-CGRP treatments are on the horizon from pharmaceutical leaders Teva Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly, and Alder Biopharmaceuticals. Teva is expected to launch their migraine drug mid-September after experiencing an initial delay. Eli Lilly and Alder are expected to file for FDA approval later in 2018.

Each of these therapies focuses on CGRP and its receptor in the brain. CGRP is a potent dilator of cerebral and dural vessels, and it is involved in meningeal dural vasodilation. Cranial CGRP levels are elevated in patients with migraines, and an infusion of CGRP can trigger a migraine attack. They work by utilizing one of four antibodies: erenumab, which targets the CGRP receptor, as well as eptinezumab, fremanezumab, and galcanezumab, which target CGRP itself.

Each of these upcoming therapies has shown to decrease migraine frequency by one to two days each month, giving migraine sufferers new hope for the ability to manage their condition and live their fullest lives.

TherigySTM’s Migraine Care Plan

TherigySTM migraine care plan complements existing care plans within the TherigySTM platform, software as a service (SaaS) solution, providing specialty pharmacies with a robust library of clinical assessments, protocols, activities, surveys, and reporting capabilities to better manage patients who are undergoing treatment for chronic or episodic migraines.

Clinical assessments and care plans help specialty pharmacies more holistically manage patients, leading to successful therapy outcomes. Therigy’s migraine module provides clinical resources for clinicians to perform proper assessments, develop individualized care plans, and provide required interventions and follow up evaluations to achieve successful outcomes.

Would you like to learn more about the TherigySTM migraine care plan? Get started with a live demo, today.