Costs of Acute Headache Medication Use and Productivity Losses Among Patients with Migraine: Insights from Three Randomized Controlled Trials

Joshua K. Porter, Gian Luca Di Tanna, Richard B. Lipton, Sandhya Sapra, Guillermo Villa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Migraine is associated with a substantial physical and emotional burden for patients. There is also a large economic burden associated with migraine, in terms of lost productivity and healthcare resource use. By reducing the number of monthly migraine days (MMD) experienced by patients, effective preventive treatments can reduce acute medication use and costs of lost productivity. Methods: Patient level data from three erenumab clinical trials (NCT02456740, NCT02483585 and NCT02066415) were combined and migraine day frequencies were examined. The number of days per month on which patients used acute medication was estimated as a function of MMD. Productivity losses were estimated based on patient responses to the Migraine Disability Assessment questionnaire. Zero-inflated Poisson regression models were used to predict acute medication use and productivity losses per MMD. Results: The results demonstrated that as MMD increased, use of acute medication also increased. Similarly, as MMD increased, loss of productivity (due to absenteeism and presenteeism) also increased. The relationship of MMD to both acute headache medication use and lost productivity was non-linear, with marginal outcomes increasing with frequency. Conclusions: As MMD increased, acute medication use and productivity loss also increased, but the relationship was non-linear. Therefore, it is important that the distribution of MMD patients is accounted for when estimating the outcomes of migraine patients. By reducing the MMD experienced by patients, effective preventive agents may reduce the requirement for acute medication and also reduce productivity loss, which may translate into potential economic savings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-417
Number of pages7
JournalPharmacoEconomics - Open
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology

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