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How Can I Help Bring Down Costs Associated with Migraine?

New advances in the understanding and treatment of migraine offer many options to provide relief. An accurate diagnosis and matching the right drug treatment with the severity of the person’s attacks are crucial elements in controlling healthcare spending. It is important to be sure that your company’s health plan is providing effective coverage for your employees suffering from migraine.

The treatment of migraine has undergone somewhat of a revolution since the introduction of a new class of drugs known as “triptans” and new research suggests they may even protect against future attacks.9 Unfortunately, to control costs some health plans restrict patients’ triptan prescriptions or specialist visits – an approach that may lead to increased emergency room use during a severe migraine attack as well as decreased patient satisfaction. A Mayo Clinic study examining costs for migraine treatment found that the average charge was only $39.93 at an outpatient center; $57.28 at an urgent care center; and $317.71 at the emergency room (ER), where most of those studied had sought care.10

Despite being more expensive than the older medications prescribed for migraine, and the fact that some health plans urge physicians to first try less expensive, generic products, recently published outcomes studies have shown that triptans are not only effective, but they can help to reduce healthcare costs by preventing unnecessary treatment.9,11

Headache management programs, like Migraine Mentors at Work, can also significantly help to reduce costs by educating your employees about ways to manage their attacks.

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