PASURTA: ONCE-MONTHLY INJECTION FOR THE PREVENTION OF MIGRAINE
AUG 17, 2019 @ 7AM
Pasurta, an approved treatment that targets the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor, which plays a critical role in migraine, is now available in Malaysia.
Based on a study conducted in 1996, 9% of the population in the country suffer from migraine - a chronic neurological disease that causes recurrent attacks of head pain that is often associated with nausea and vomiting and can involve sensitivity to light and sound.
Positive results from clinical trials
Results from clinical trials showed that one in four migraine sufferers taking Pasurta for 64 weeks were completely migraine free. Another study showed that during 6-months treatment, over 90% of migraine sufferers stayed on as participants, demonstrating Pasurta’s safety and tolerability profile. These are extremely crucial features as it is common for migraine sufferers to go through numerous preventive treatments in the past due to lack of efficacy or intolerable side effects.
To date, some 200,000 migraine sufferers worldwide are currently on this treatment, which is notable as the drug has only been launched in the United States (US) in May 2018.
Migraine in people under 50
Migraine was identified as the first cause of disability in people under 50, which emphasizes the severe economic and personal burden that it creates. As migraine mainly occurs during peak productive years (between the ages of 25 and 55), it is particularly disruptive, generating approximately RM83.9 billion of losses in the US annually.
Another problem associated with migraine is under diagnosis. Over two thirds of migraine sufferers have either not consulted a doctor for their condition or have stopped doing so. To manage their condition, these migraine sufferers usually turn to painkillers. This may exacerbate the migraine as excessive use of painkillers causes medication overuse headache.
Additionally, migraine is not just a headache. The pain intensity associated with migraine attacks can be high enough to cross the threshold for disability. Coupled with migraine features such as nausea and extreme sensitivity to sensory stimuli such as lights and sound, a patient is usually forced into a low-functioning state.
Migraine and mental health disorders
“Migraine sufferers frequently complain about feeling judged, stigmatized, or misunderstood. It is not surprising, therefore, that migraine is highly comorbid with mental health disorders such as depression.” said Dr Julia Shahnaz, neurologist and headache specialist at Prince Court Medical Centre.
As part of its Community Outreach Programme, Novartis Malaysia also launched the Beat Migraine Back campaign which aims to provide migraine sufferers with educational resources and the opportunity to connect with others who are suffering from migraine.
Also, a free mobile application called Migraine Buddy is now available for download. This online patient diary can be used to record useful information about a person’s migraine history.
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