Migraine May Be Potential Threat to Heart Health

Individuals with migraine may be at an increased risk for heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, and irregular heart rates, according to a recent study. Although the connection of migraine to the risk of heart problems is strongest in the first year after diagnosis, it can last for as long as 20 years.

“Accumulating evidence supports that migraine should be considered as an important risk factor for most cardiovascular diseases in both men and women,” lead researcher Kasper Adelborg, MD told HealthDay. Continue Reading

CGRP: What You Need to Know – Clinical Trials

By Dr. James Banks, National Headache Foundation Board Member

This is the second part of a series related to CGRP. In the first part of the series, Dr. James Banks looks at the basics of CGRP and how it works.

Where are CGRP agents currently in the trial process and what are the early results?

The four companies with the most advanced research on the CGRP antagonists are, in alphabetical order, Alder, Amgen, Eli Lilly, and Teva. Amgen (in conjunction with Novartis) is currently involved in research on an oral CGRP antagonist. At www.headaches.org and www.clinicaltrials.gov, you’ll find a listing of where, who and what is being studied. Continue Reading

Take Action and Let Your Voice Be Heard!

Non-Medical Switching

Background: Pharmacy benefit managers and health insurers are increasingly making coverage changes aimed at forcing patients that are stable on their current therapies to switch to cheaper treatment options. These lower-cost options may be therapies that patients have already tried and failed on, or are options their physicians have not personally recommended for them based on their unique medical histories.

This is known as “non-medical switching.” It erodes patient health and drives up long-term monetary and societal costs.

There are currently no protections preventing commercial health insurers from reducing prescription coverage at any time during the year, even including right after a patient has signed on to a plan. These prescription coverage changes may take the form of increased out-of-pocket costs, more restrictions around access, or removing medications from coverage entirely.

If you’re in New York, please consider taking this survey to help us learn more about non-medical switching: https://www.research.net/r/X9XJYQR

50-State Network

Background: The 50-State Network is a grassroots advocacy organization comprised of patients. The 50-State Network is working to share the patient perspective, which is crucial in the State and Federal health policy and regulatory arenas. Patients need a voice in all conversations that relate to our access to treatment, safety, or the quality of care.

Some highlights of the 50-State Network:

Ongoing training—(peer to peer) as well as with leaders in the field. Some examples of topics (aside from explaining access issues):

  • SEO experts share with patient bloggers tips to getting their blog in front of more eyes
  • PR experts share how to write a letter to editor and some tips to doing a phone or camera interview.
  • State legislators and their chiefs of staff explain what they listen for in a constituent meeting.

Understanding that people with chronic disease can’t do much travelling, the majority of work is done digitally or through conference calls.

Many topics are developed out of the request/need of the network.

Interested in getting some advocacy support: https://www.50statenetwork.org/join-the-50-state-network/