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Novartis and Amgen Highlight Findings from a Large Global Patient Survey on Migranes

Novartis and Amgen highlight findings from a large global patient survey revealing that worldwide approximately 60% of employed people with migraine missed, on average, a week of work in a month
– The My Migraine Voice survey involved more than 11,000 people globally, 10% of which were from the US, and highlights urgent need for better care for benefit of patients and society
– In the US, patients reported 80% of employers knew about their migraine, but only 21% offered support
– Migraine is estimated to cost up to $22 billion in the US annually, including indirect costs such as lost productivity; Survey finds 18% of worktime is missed due to migraine in the US

Novartis and the European Migraine and Headache Alliance today announced initial findings from a large global migraine patient survey, involving more than 11,000 people from 31 countries, including the US. The findings, to be presented at the 60th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society (AHS) in San Francisco, reveal that migraine is associated with overall work and activity impairment.1On average, 60% of employed respondents worldwide missed almost a full working week (4.6 days) due to migraine in a month. Migraine is a distinct neurological disease and is estimated to cost up to $22 billion in the US each year.
The My Migraine Voice survey was led by Novartis and our partners at the European Migraine and Headache Alliance, guided by a steering committee including Amgen, migraine patients, neurologists and patient advocacy organizations. The survey included people who had at least four migraine days per month and 90% of respondents in the US reported having previously tried at least one preventive treatment. The impact of migraine at work, including reduced work productivity (presenteeism) and work time missed due to migraine (absenteeism), was assessed using the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI) questionnaire. Among survey participants in the US, approximately 63% reported overall work impairment due to migraine.
“From being afraid to speak up about their disease at work in fear of losing their jobs, to feeling judged by colleagues, the stigma around migraine in the workplace is an ongoing issue that the migraine community faces daily,” said Mary Franklin, Executive Director of the National Headache Foundation. “The findings from the My Migraine Voice survey shed light on the true impact of migraine at work, and showcase the urgent need for employers and employees to change the dialogue around migraine.”
Further, employed respondents in the US reported they felt lack of support and judged. For example:
Although the majority of their employers (80%) knew about the employee’s migraine, only 21% offered support.
Of those who reported that migraine affected their professional life, 30% said they felt judged, illustrating the need for awareness and support in the workplace.
Previous studies have shown that 90% of people say they cannot work or function with a migraine. In the My Migraine Voice survey, 72% of the respondents in the US who were employed, including self-employed, needed at least one day off of work in the last month due to their migraine, with more than half of the respondents mentioning they could not work up to five days in a month.
“Novartis, and our partner Amgen, have committed to advancing our knowledge of migraine to end the stigma around the disease, and this survey makes it clear that we need to start in the workplace,” said Fabrice Chouraqui, US President of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. “The results of the My Migraine Voice survey reinforce the immediate need for better solutions for migraine patients and employers, and we’d like to thank the patients who participated in the survey to bring these insights to light.”
Novartis and Amgen are working on future initiatives to focus on addressing how stigma against migraine manifests in the workplace: migraine gets in between people and their careers, and in between employee and employer. Through outreach and education, Novartis and Amgen aim to assist people in getting the support they need, and facilitate informed communication among people with migraine and those who live and work with them, including co-workers, employers and insurers.
Further results on the physical and economic burden of migraine will be released at upcoming medical meetings, and the findings from the survey are being prepared for submission to peer-reviewed journals.