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US migraine experts urge easier access to anti-CGRP therapies during COVID-19 crisis

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Leading US migraine specialists have called on insurance providers to eliminate prior authorisation and step therapy requirements for migraine treatment during the COVID-19 crisis and enable easier access to anti-CGRP therapies for appropriate patients.

In an editorial accepted for publication in Headache, Dr Christina Szperka and colleagues suggest that, at such a difficult time, patients should not be required to fail on older medications before they can access migraine prevention with anti-CGRP MAbs. They also point out that, as social distancing measures may prevent patients having onabotulinumtoxin A injections, anti-CGRP MAbs could be used as a bridge while procedures are postponed. They recommend that insurers should remove prohibition of simultaneous coverage of these drug classes.

The authors explain that, by 14 March 2020, nearly one in five US households had reported a layoff or reduction in work hours related to coronavirus and they urge insurance providers to minimise or eliminate copays for migraine medications. They underline the fact that multiple pharmacoeconomic studies have demonstrated that coverage of expensive migraine medications is cost-saving, as it decreases disability and reliance on hospital care.

“During the current pandemic we, headache specialists, make a plea to insurers to lift cumbersome restrictions to allow patients greater availability of evidence based treatment options to reduce the burden of their disease,” they conclude. 

Reference

Szperka CL, Ailani J, Barmherzig R et al. Migraine care in the era of COVID-19: Clinical Pearls and Plea to Insurers. Headache 2020; 60: 833-842 https://headachejournal.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/head.13810


Real World Experience: COVID-19

At CGRP Forum, we are gathering ‘real world’ experience of anti-CGRP therapies from Clinicians to help our Members make prescribing decisions in everyday practice and enable their patients to gain access to optimal treatment. We are following up an appeal by US headache specialists for health insurers to ease restrictions on access to anti-CGRP therapies and other evidence-based migraine treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Share your experiences, email us at: realworld@cgrpforum.org