Addressing the High Impact of Migraine at Work
Initial findings from a large global migraine patient survey involving >11,000 people from 31 countries show migraine is associated with overall work and activity impairment. The My Migraine Voice survey was initiated and funded by Novartis and the European Migraine and Headache Alliance.
On average, 60% percent of employed respondents reported missing 4.6 days per week each month due to their migraines. The survey included people who had at least four migraine days per month. Of the respondents from the US, 90% reported having previously tried at least one preventive treatment. The survey also assessed the impact of reduced productivity using the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI) questionnaire, and of the respondents from the US, 63% reported overall work impairment due to migraine. The average age of respondents was 39.4; 73% reported they were employed in some capacity and more than 37% had experience migraine for 16 or more years.
Mary Franklin, Executive Director of the National Headache Foundation, noted "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."
In the US, it is estimated that $11 billion is lost each year to missed work days and lost productivity as a result of migraine burden. In the My Migraine Voice survey, 80% respondents stated their employers knew about their migraine, but only 21% reported being offered support related to their migraines at work.
Novartis partner Amgen is responding to the high impact of migraine at work by partnering with Piper Jordan, an employee benefits consultancy, to launch Manage My Migraine to several large employers representing more than 50,000 employees in the US. This collaboration aims to provide disease management resources to employees and employers through innovative education and wellness approaches for those living with migraine. A wellness portion of the program includes 5 webinars, email tips, and an educational website; a study portion of the program uses a mobile app to track migraine symptoms for analysis.
"Migraine is a distinct neurological disease that is too often stigmatized or overlooked in the workplace. This unique partnership reinforces Amgen's commitment to giving individuals impacted by migraine a voice in both their professional and personal lives," said Joshua J. Ofman, M.D., Senior Vice President, Global Value, Access and Policy at Amgen.
Amgen and Novartis have stated they are working on future initiatives that will address the stigma of migraine and the impact it has on peoples’ careers and employer-employee relations with an aim of assisting people in getting the support that they need to manage this debilitating disease.