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"A Year After Approval, Migraine Drugs Are Changing Lives. But Insurance Battles Are Creating a Whole New Headache" - Jamie Ducharme

  • Time Online
  • New York, NY
  • (June 24, 2019)

Last May, the Food and Drug Administration approved Amgen and Novartis’ Aimovig, the first drug specifically designed to prevent chronic migraines, and offered new hope to the millions of Americans regularly weathering these debilitating headaches. However as insurance horror stories accumulate, and manufacturer-sponsored financial assistance programs approach their end, patients are concerned about losing access to the drugs that are giving their lives back. Lauren Natbony, MD, assistant professor of neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai said she can attest to these insurance headaches. According to Dr. Natbony, she couldn’t get CGRP drugs approved for patients with Medicare, though recently she’s been having some breakthroughs. She’s also had to make tough choices for patients using both migraine drugs and Botox, making educated guesses about which one a patient needs if they can’t get coverage for both. I’m afraid for the patients. It’s a shame that we find something that works and then insurance tells us we can’t do it.” 

— Lauren R. Natbony, MD, Assistant Professor, Neurology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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