Migraine pain is worse than most imagine and significantly impacts the lives of patients. 

With the goal of understanding more about the perception of migraines, Eli Lilly conducted a survey about migraines, including migraine sufferers, their caregivers and loved ones, and people with no direct knowledge or experience with migraines. The results suggest that the average consumers lack a real understanding of the suffering and impacts caused by migraines.

Consumers estimated the length of migraines to be approximately two-thirds of the length reported by actual patients. They also guessed the pain level to be much less than what actual sufferers indicated. Patients also reported that they had to cancel plans an average of 7 out of the previous 30 days and missed out on about seven important events each year due to pain episodes. The survey also revealed that the unpredictability of migraines causes patients to suffer significant stress.

The information obtained in the survey is important for developers of new treatments for migraines, according to Eli Lilly medical fellow Sheena Aurora. There are currently four drugs approved by FDA for the treatment of migraine pain, but none were actually developed for this disease. Medication adherence tends to be low due to undesirable side effects and limited relief, according to Aurora.

Lilly is working on the development of new treatments for migraine. Its first-in-class acute migraine candidate lasmiditan is in late-stage trials, and the company is expected to file a new drug application with FDA later in 2018. It has already filed a Biologics License Application with FDA for its CGRP inhibitor maintenance drug galcanezumab.