A UAE-based pharmaceuticals producer is currently in the developmental phase for the production of generic migraine medicine in order to bring the cost of treatment down for sufferers across the region.
Despite migraines being among the highest causes of disability in the GCC, medications are still considered by many to be expensive and the condition often goes undiagnosed.
In reaction to a study recently published in the Journal of Headache Pain on the subject, which is the largest piece of global research of its kind, Pharmax Pharmaceuticals has planned awareness campaigns and initiated focus groups with migraine patients and doctors in an effort to tackle the condition.
The study found those who frequently experience migraines and have not been helped by preventive treatment experience serious consequences that adversely affect their quality of life far beyond the initial headache.
The study, called My Migraine Voice, involved 11,266 sufferers across 31countries, including: 1,689 from North America, 1438 from South America, 6,156 from Europe, 1,111 from the Middle East and Africa, and 872 from Asia-Pacific. The research included adults who had suffered at least four migraine days within the three months prior to the study. Nearly all participants (90%) had used preventive migraine treatment and the vast majority (80%) had experienced at least one treatment failure.
In addition to pain, sufferers reported other repercussions of migraines, with being misunderstood by others ranking the most common (48%), followed by depression (41%), hating their own life (39%), feeling helpless (39%) and feeling migraines dictate their life (39%).
The study also found migraines have a negative impact across various facets of life, with 87 per cent reporting they impacted private, professional, and social activities. Other negative effects were also reported, such as missed special occasions (52%), and feeling guilty about the impact of migraine on family life (44%).
49 per cent reported feeling limited in daily activities due to migraine and over half (52%) complained of overall impaired work productivity. Respondents reported an average of nearly five missed work days monthly due to migraine, while only nine per cent reported receiving disability benefits due to their migraines.
Surprisingly the majority (57%) of those surveyed claimed some positive elements of suffering from migraines, such as a feeling of increased resilience and having built a stronger coping capacity.
The prevalence of migraines can reduce the productivity of the workforce, as the study found over 90 per cent of migraine sufferers made at least one visit to a doctor in the previous year. Additionally, 89 per said their job performance was adversely affected by migraines and more than half missed two or more days of work monthly.
Madhukar Tanna, CEO of Pharmax Pharmaceuticals, said: “More than one in ten people experience migraines, which is an enormous segment of the population – with a higher frequency in women than men. It doesn’t stop with the headache, as many who suffer the attacks report other alarming patterns, such as mood changes, visual disturbances, nausea and light sensitivity, which can seriously impact upon quality of life.
“This issue is a top priority for Pharmax as we develop generic medicine to provide more cost-effective solutions for society and involve ourselves with activities to increase awareness of the issue and enact change. We are working hard to produce and deliver affordable generic medicine for migraines and expect to make some announcements later this year.”
Headquartered in Dubai, UAE, Pharmax is a GMP-licensed international manufacturer and distributor of high-quality medications into most regulated markets globally.