Migraine is a new, comprehensive, multiclient study soon to be published by Decision Resources, Inc. Based on interviews with international headache experts, this study covers the pathophysiological mechanisms that researchers believe are involved in migraine as well as the clinical course of the disease. We provide epidemiological estimates of the total population of migraineurs in the seven major pharmaceutical markets (United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and Japan) and estimate the percentage of diagnosed and drug- treated patients in each market. We also address the variations in medical practice among countries, and present critical areas of unmet need in migraine treatment and prevention. Finally, we assess promising emerging therapies and investigational approaches to migraine that will impact the market through 2009.

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Despite the availability of numerous 5-HT agonists (e.g., Glaxo Wellcome's sumatriptan [Imitrex]) and OTC analgesics, the migraine market remains of keen interest in the pharmaceutical industry for the following reasons:

  -- The large patient population.  Migraine is strikingly common:     prevalence exceeds 10% in most of the major markets, for a total of     approximately 68.6 million prevalent cases in 1999, a number we expect     will remain relatively constant throughout our study period.   -- The frequency of migraine attacks.  We estimate the total number of     migraine episodes in 1999 exceeded 1.1 billion.   -- The large, untapped undiagnosed population.  Population-based studies     of migraineurs in several countries consistently indicate that less     than half of migraineurs have been diagnosed.   -- The need for therapies that provide complete and sustained pain relief.   -- The need for therapies that provide faster pain relief.   -- The need for more-effective, more-tolerable prophylactic agents.  None     of the available prophylactic agents (e.g., antidepressants, beta     blockers, and the anticonvulsant valproic acid) elicits a response in     more than 50-60% of patients.   -- The need for less expensive therapies.  Available (and emerging)     triptans are so similar in terms of safety and efficacy that pricing     will be a major consideration in their choice of agent.  Cost will     increasingly influence formulary inclusion and reimbursement status as     well.  

The market for abortive therapy in migraine will be all but saturated by the latter half of our study period. Undaunted by the competition in the triptan market, three other developers are poised to launch 5-HT agonists in the U.S. and European markets by the end of 2001: Pfizer's eletriptan (Relpax), Pharmacia/Almirall Prodesfarma's almotriptan (Axert), and Elan/Vernalis's frovatriptan (Miguard). The prophylactic market, by contrast, is relatively impoverished-no effective and tolerable drug therapy is available. Therefore, any such treatment appropriate for even a small niche of the prophylactic market-the triptans, for example, in menstrual migraine- will garner commercial reward. Prescription drugs to treat migraine generated approximately $1.9 billion in sales in 1999 in the seven markets under study. We expect this number to grow to $3.1 billion by 2009 as a result of increases in the diagnosed population of migraineurs and more widespread use of the triptans.

Migraine is part of Cognos, one of six Pharmacor services that evaluate the commercial potential of drugs in research and development.

Contact: Frank Sama, 781.487.3753 (telephone), 781.487.5750 (fax), or sama@dresources.com (e-mail). In Europe, contact Francoise Bidart, +32.2.351.4082 (telephone), +32.2.351.2347 (fax), or fbidart@compuserve.com (e-mail). In Japan, contact Makiko Yoshimoto, +81.3.5401.2615 (telephone), +81.3.5401.2617 (fax), or makiko@bl.mmtr.or.jp (e-mail). http://www.dresources.com

Decision Resources, Inc., is a world leader in research publications, advisory services, and consulting designed to help clients shape strategy, allocate resources, and master their chosen markets. Founded as a subsidiary of Arthur D. Little, Inc., the company has provided strategic information services for 30 years, assessing industry trends in the international health care and pharmaceutical industries.

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SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.

Contact: Frank Sama of Decision Resources, Inc., 781-487-3753,

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