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The Parliament Magazine, in partnership with Abbvie, organised an event ‘Migraine: What can Europe do to avoid neglecting unmet medical need‘, which took place on 7 November 2023 at 08:30-09:30 in the European Parliament.

Migraine carries an annual economic burden of €27 billion and is one of the leading causes of disability. Despite the tangible unmet need, it is not consistently recognised as a medical burden, especially when it comes to preventative treatment. Migraine might not be deadly but it is debilitating.

Current policy proposals may offer an opportunity to address the challenges, but a risk remains in the newly proposed unmet medical need definition. As it stands, the definition may see migraine get deprioritised as recognition of the existing unmet need is brought into question.

How do we ensure that these approaches are well-defined and open the door to medical advances that leave no patient behind?

During the event part of the discussion centred around the following points:

  • How does the inconsistent recognition of migraine as a medical burden affect preventative treatment options and patient care?
  • What should be considered in the definition of unmet medical need to ensure patients suffering from migraine do not miss out following the revision of pharmaceutical legislation?
  • While Brussels’ renewed commitment to mental health is welcome, what more can the European Union do on a policy level to drive forward the commitments specific to brain health?

During the event, the outcomes and the policy recommendations of the Rethinking migraine project were highlighted. The aim of the project is to challenge the status quo and refreshes the European policy debate on people living with migraine, recognises the consequences of the burdens during the COVID-19 pandemic and encourages multi-stakeholder-driven policy. The project falls under #MigraineMyBrain campaign.