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J Headache Pain


BACKGROUND: Fremanezumab, a fully humanized monoclonal antibody (IgG2Δa) that selectively targets calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), is approved for migraine prevention in adults. Real-world data on the effectiveness of fremanezumab are limited. This retrospective, observational cohort study assessed patient-reported migraine symptoms, health care resource utilization (HCRU), and direct medical costs before and after fremanezumab treatment initiation.

METHODS: Data were extracted from September 2018 through June 2020 from the Midwest component of EMRClaims+®, an integrated health services database containing > 20 million medical records from national commercial insurance claims, Medicare claims, and regional electronic medical records. Patients included in the cohort analysis were aged ≥ 18 years and were administered fremanezumab, with enrollment or treatment history for ≥ 6 months prior (pre-index) to initiating fremanezumab (index date) and ≥ 1 month after the index date (post-index), and without pregnancy or pregnancy-related encounters during the study period. Patient-reported headache frequency, migraine pain intensity (MPI), composite migraine symptoms, and HCRU were assessed pre-index and ≥ 1 month after fremanezumab initiation. Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were used to compare means of migraine symptoms and outcomes and HCRU before and after fremanezumab initiation.

RESULTS: Overall, 172 patients were eligible for analysis. Of patients who self-reported (n = 129), 83.7% reported improvement in headache frequency or symptoms after fremanezumab treatment. Specifically, headache frequency decreased by 63% after fremanezumab initiation: mean (standard deviation) headache frequency was 22.24 (9.29) days per month pre-index versus 8.24 (7.42) days per month post-index (P < 0.0001). Mean MPI also decreased by 18% after fremanezumab initiation: MPI was 5.47 (3.19) pre-index versus 4.51 (3.34) post-index (P = 0.014). Mean emergency room (ER) visits per month decreased from 0.72 to 0.54 (P = 0.003), and mean outpatient visits per month decreased from 1.04 to 0.81 (P < 0.001). Mean hospitalizations per month decreased, but the results did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.095). Hospitalization and ER costs decreased, while outpatient costs increased, from pre-index to post-index, but differences were not statistically significant (P ≥ 0.232).

CONCLUSIONS: Significant reductions in headache frequency, MPI, and HCRU were observed after fremanezumab initiation in patients with migraine in a US real-world setting.

Medical Subject Headings

Adult; Aged; Antibodies, Monoclonal; Humans; Medicare; Migraine Disorders; Retrospective Studies; United States

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