Not A Headache: Revenues Grow For Migraine Drugs

There’s fewer headaches around for companies that  make and market migraine drugs, which are tracking substantial revenue growth.

During Pfizer’s Q4 earnings call on Tuesday, chairman/ CEO Albert Bourla singled out only one product’s consumer marketing, saying it will continue to be a focus for Lady GaGa-endorsed Nurtec as Pfizer works “to help the more than 1 billion people living with migraines worldwide.”

Nurtec, which has also used Khloe Kardashian in its advertising, combined with another Pfizer migraine drug, Vydura, to garner global revenues of $282 million in the fourth quarter, up 33% year-over-year. The great bulk of that was in the U.S., with $275 in revenues, up 31% YoY. 



Full year 2023 revenues for Nurtec and Vydura were $928 million, with $908 million of that in the U.S.

Over at Abbvie, Sabrina Williams-endorsed Ubrelvy migraine medication garnered $234 million in global 4Q net revenues, up 18.9% YoY. Another Abbive migraine drug, Quilipta, added $114 in net revenues.

Both of those brands are expected to contribute double-digit sales growth in 2024, Abbie president and COO Rob Michael told investors during an earnings call on Friday. What’s more, he said, Abbvie has now raised its long-term annual peak revenue forecast by $1 billion, to more than $3 million.

Combined Ubelvry and Quilipta sales for full year 2023 were $1.223 billion.

In the fourth quarter, global Ubrelvy net revenues were $234 million, up 18.9% YOY, with Qulipta

Global Qulipta net revenues were $114 million, more than doubling 2022 figures YOY.

Pfizer and Abbvie are just two of several players in a migraine drugs market that DataHorizzon Research estimates at $5.4 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at 4.3% annually, to $8.2 billion by 2032.

The research firm cites a rising number of migraines among the younger population as one of the key factors causing the growth. Younger people are getting migraines due to “hectic schedules, increasing work pressure, inappropriate sleep cycles, and high alcohol consumption,” along with other factors, DataHorizzon said.

Other pharma companies in the migraine space include Lundbeck, which last month launched a “Say Yep” campaign for its Vyept intravenous migraine therapy.

And last fall, Teva, which markets Ajovy, dropped years-old patent infringement lawsuits against Eli Lilly, which markets Emgality.

Ajovy, Teva announced on Wednesday, had global revenues of  $435 million in 2023, with CEO Richard Francis placing 2024 guidance for the drug at half a billion dollars.

Lilly’s latest earnings report will be released this Feb. 6, and Lundbeck's on Feb. 7.

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