FB : Novartis Malaysia
Are you a migraine sufferer?
Thanks for the wonderful invitation, I recently went to the launching event of Pasurta® (erenumab) by Novartis Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd. It is one of the first treatment approved and is now available in Malaysia to prevent migraine.
Saying goodbye to migraine pain would be a dream come true for many migraine sufferers, as Pasurta offers them a once monthly treatment consistently shown to reduce monthly migraine days. It blocks the calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor (CGRP-R), which plays a critical role in migraine.
The results from its clinical trials were very encouraging, where one in four migraine sufferers taking Pasurta for 64 weeks were completely migraine free. Another study showed that during 6-months treatment over 90% of migraine sufferers stayed on as participants, demonstrating Pasurta’s safety and tolerability profile.
Identified as the first cause of disability in people under 50, migraine is a chronic neurological disease that causes recurrent attacks of head pain that is often associated with nausea and vomiting and can involve sensitivity to light and sound. As migraine mainly occurs during peak productive years (between the ages of 25 and 55), it is particularly disruptive, generating approximately RM83.9 billion of losses in the US annually.
Another problem associated with migraine is under diagnosis. Over two thirds of migraine sufferers have either not consulted a doctor for their condition or have stopped doing so. They usually turn to painkillers to manage their condition. This may exacerbate the migraine as excessive use of painkillers causes medication overuse headache. To receive adequate care, migraine sufferers are advised to seek a proper diagnosis from a Neurologist.
Additionally, migraine is an invisible disease – people who do not suffer from it often do not understand how crippling it may be. The pain intensity associated with migraine attacks could be high enough to cross the threshold for disability. Coupled with migraine features such as nausea and extreme sensitivity to sensory stimuli such as lights and sound, a patient is usually forced into a low-functioning state.
“Migraine sufferers frequently complain about feeling judged, stigmatized, or misunderstood. It is not surprising, therefore, that migraine is highly comorbid with mental health disorders such as depression,” said Dr Julia Shahnaz, neurologist and headache specialist at Prince Court Medical Centre. “As such, we urge sufferers not to suffer in silence but to seek help with your doctors.”
As part of its Community Outreach Program, Novartis Malaysia also launched the “Beat Migraine Back” campaign. It aims to provide migraine sufferers with educational resources and the opportunity to connect with others who are suffering from migraine.
Migraine sufferers can also download a free mobile application called Migraine Buddy. This online patient diary can be used to record useful information about a person’s migraine history.
The launch of Pasurta is Novartis’ commitment to reimagine medicines for patients who live with this condition every day of their lives. To date, some 200,000 migraine sufferers worldwide are currently on this treatment, which is notable as the drug has only been launched in the US in May 2018.
More photos at FOOD Malaysia facebook page, a Malaysian food and lifestyle blogger since 2010