CGRP for migraine prevention may reduce use of acute medications

Use of CGRP receptor blockers is associated with a reduction in opioid claims

March 21, 2019

Use of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor blockers for migraine prevention is associated with a reduction in opioid claims

This study tracked growth of the use of CGRP receptor blockers from their first approval in 2018. Annual wholesale cost is estimated at $7,200. The number of members who started on a new CGRP prescription increased steadily from six members in May 2018, to more than 1,800 members in July 2019, which is about 125 new users added per month. CGRP drug costs are expected to reach $15 million per month by the end of 2020 – triple the cost seen in July 2019.

Of the members taking CGRP, Prime saw a 5 percent reduction in members with an opioid claim. The number of members with a triptan pharmacy claim decreased by nearly 10 percent in the same time period. These reductions in the use of acute medications among individuals who take CGRP treatments as directed for over six months is an important finding.

Calcitonin Gene-related Peptides (CGRPs) Uptake and Acute Migraine Medication Use among 15 Million Commercially Insured Members (Fall 2019)

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