Background: Following approval of fremanezumab for the prevention of migraine in adults, health care decision makers are interested in understanding real-world clinical characteristics and treatment patterns among patients initiating fremanezumab therapy.
Methods: Data were obtained for this retrospective (pre-post) study from the Veradigm Health Insights database. The study period was January 1, 2014, to June 30, 2019. Patients were included if they were aged≥18 years; had≥1 migraine diagnosis during the study period; and had a medication record for fremanezumab on or after diagnosis during the identification period (September 1, 2018–December 31, 2018). Treatment patterns, including adherence, persistence, and utilization of acute and preventive migraine medication prescriptions, were evaluated.
Results: Of 987 patients initiating fremanezumab during the study period, 738 (74.8%) were adherent to fremanezumab by proportion of days covered (PDC;≥80%) and 780 (79.0%) were adherent by medication possession ratio (MPR;≥80%). A total of 746 (75.6%) patients were persistent for≥6 months. Quarterly fremanezumab (n=186) was associated with higher rates of adherence versus monthly fremanezumab (n=801) by PDC (quarterly, 91.3%; monthly, 84.9%; P<0.001) and MPR (quarterly, 92.2%; monthly, 87.9%; P=0.006) and higher persistence at ≥6 months (quarterly, 82.8%; monthly, 73.9%; P=0.011). After fremanezumab initiation, patients who were persistent for ≥6 months experienced significant reductions from baseline in the mean monthly number of acute and preventive migraine medication prescriptions (P<0.001). Subgroup analyses in patients with comorbid depression and anxiety showed meaningful real-world benefits based on significant reductions in the number of patients who were prescribed antidepressants (baseline, 68.6%; follow-up, 56.4%; P=0.0025) and anxiolytic medications (baseline, 55.0%; follow-up, 47.2%; P=0.037), respectively. In a subgroup of patients with comorbid hypertension at baseline, fremanezumab
treatment resulted in nonsignificant reductions in blood pressure.
Conclusions: Overall, adherence and persistence to fremanezumab in this real-world study was high in patients with migraine, with higher rates observed for quarterly fremanezumab. Patients who were persistent for ≥6 months experienced significant reductions in acute and preventive migraine medication use, while a subgroup of migraine patients with comorbid depression and anxiety at baseline showed significant reductions in antidepressant and anxiolytic medication use.
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