Your Opinion Matters

I recently participated in a patient survey conducted by a pharmaceutical research company. Although the survey targeted a different type of headache disorder, I still learned a few things that might be useful to migraine patients.

Perhaps the biggest lesson I can share with you is that pharmaceutical companies are not all heartless giants actively looking to create dangerous drugs or charge outrageous amounts for life-saving treatments. There is no doubt that predatory drug pricing is a problem or that dangerous side effects sometimes get pushed under the rug in order to rush a drug to market. Bad apples exist in every industry. Pharma is no exception. Fortunately that is not true of all companies.

Pharma asks patients

While the phone survey did not disclose the name of the pharmaceutical company or drug being studied, I strongly suspected the study drug was LY2951742, Eli Lilly’s new CGRP antagonist. Who else is developing preventive drug for multiple headache disorders that requires regular injections? When I shared my suspicions, the researcher didn’t even respond, so I don’t know for sure.

This mystery company did want to know…

  • If the term “preventive treatment” made sense to me
  • Would I use a drug that required injections
  • Would I use a drug that required IV infusion
  • Would I use a drug that required refrigeration
  • Would I use a drug that required me to self-inject monthly
  • Would I use a drug that required me to go to a hospital or infusion center
  • What type of packaging I preferred
  • What kind of side effects I was willing to accept as part of treatment

Pharma cares about us

This company cares enough to ask patients what they think about the new drug. They have clinical trials to determine if the drug is effective. This was different. The survey had a lot more to do with patient preference and the drug’s potential impact on everyday life. As a patient who will likely use one of the CGRP blocking drugs, I appreciate that the drug companies care what I think.

Get prepared

As a patient advocate, I’d like to encourage you to start thinking about the impact these new drugs may have on your life. In addition to the obvious (and hopeful) reduction in migraine attacks, there are other issues to consider.

  • What do you think about using a preventive that requires you to get an IV infusion?
  • Would you be able to self-inject a migraine preventive every month?
  • Would it be a problem to keep the medicine refrigerated?
  • What kind of results would you expect to see from such a treatment?
  • What kind of side effects would you be willing to tolerate?

These drugs are coming and the early results are very promising. They will be available in a few short years. It’s time for us to all start thinking about this option.


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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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