New CGRP Migraine Medications May Reach Market in 2018

Patient Expert
Medically Reviewed

One of the hottest topics among Migraine patients, researchers, Migraine specialists, and others concerned with Migraine is the new GCRP Migraine medications in development. These new medications have been in the news quite a bit lately. Unfortunately, some of the headlines and even the articles haven't been very accurate, and have left some of us confused and uncertain about whether they’re talking about these new CGRP medications or something else entirely.

In this NBC News video, we have the opportunity to hear from a patient who has been getting one of the new CGRP medications in a clinical trial and from Migraine and headache specialist David Kudrow, M.D., who is conducting one of the clinical trials.

Four pharmaceutical companies have CGRP Migraine medications in clinical trials:

  • Alder Pharmaceuticals
  • Amgen
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Teva Pharmaceuticals

If the clinical trials continue going as well as they are at this time, we could see one or more of these medications reach the market in 2018. These medications have the potential to revolutionize Migraine treatment as they’d be the only medications available that were developed specifically for Migraine prevention.

The method of administering these medications is also vastly different from current Migraine preventive medications. They are injections or infusions, and instead of being taken daily, they are injected or infused at intervals of two weeks to one month.

Of major concern is the estimate of the annual cost of using these medications at $10,000. The two main questions this estimate raises are:

  • Will health insurance companies cover this cost?
  • How will people without insurance be able to afford to use these medications?

While the estimated $10,000 per year to use one of these medications seems high, it’s no more than I paid when I was using Botox for chronic Migraine. It’s also no higher than the cost of brand-name Topamax, when I used it more than 15 years ago.

Although insurance companies will most likely be difficult about covering these new medications, once they’re FDA approved and “standard of care,” they should begin covering them. As with other medications, the pharmaceutical companies will most likely have patient-assistance programs for patients without health insurance coverage.

See more helpful articles:

New Class of Migraine Preventives Raises Excitement and Hope

Update on Spring TMS for Migraine – Goodbye Botox

Migraine and Headache Prevention – So Many Options


Deo, Parminder. New Drugs May Stop Migraine Before They Start. February 24, 2017.