Migraine is prevalent and associated with substantial direct and indirect costs that may vary across geographic and national boundaries. The effects of migraine, self-reported by Canadians, on health care resource use as well as paid and unpaid work loss were examined.
The Migraine Background Questionnaire (MBQ) was self-administered during the screening visit of a phase III clinical trial of rizatriptan (a potent, selective 5-hydroxytryptamine(1B/1D)-receptor agonist or 'triptan'). Patients suffering from moderate to severe migraine in the previous six months were offered the opportunity to participate. Migraine frequency was determined and costs were estimated and assigned based on known direct costs of health care resource utilization, and indirect costs of paid and unpaid work and productivity loss.
One hundred thirty-four patients completed the MBQ. In the previous year, 89% of those patients reported visiting a clinic, 23% reported visiting an emergency room and 5% reported being hospitalized for migraine. Patients reported an average of 6.5 days absent from work, 44 days working with migraine headache and 10.4 reduced workday equivalents due to ineffectiveness at work with migraine. Based on data obtained from the Ontario, the average overall annual cost due to migraine was estimated to be 3,025 dollars/patient; most of this (87%) due to indirect costs.
In Canada, patients with moderate to severe migraine, as identified in a phase III clinical trial, reported lost work days and reduced effectiveness while at work, as well as increased health care resource utilization due to migraine. The associated cost was estimated to be substantial.