Heads Up: Abbvie's Migraine Portfolio 'Very, Very Strong'

In the wake of Abbvie’s loss of exclusivity for its blockbuster Humira anti-inflammatory drug, its migraine-fighting meds -- Ubrelvy, Qulipta and Botox -- have emerged as a major category for the pharma giant.

In its most recent earnings report, for Q1, Ubrelvy net revenues rose to $203 million, up 33.8% year-over-year. Qulipta, which was launched in 2021 and approved for chronic migraine treatment in 2023, saw net revenues jump 97.7 to $131 million.

In addition, Botox Therapeutic revenues -- as opposed to those for Botox Aesthetics (generally used for cosmetic, wrinkle-smoothing purposes)  -- were $748 million, an increase of 4.1%. A “little bit over 40%” of those revenues were for the treatment of chronic migraine, Rob Michael, Abbvie’s president/chief operating officer, emphasized Wednesday at the Goldman Sachs 45th Annual Global Healthcare Conference.



“The combined migraine portfolio for the company is very, very strong,” said Michael, who will become Abbvie’s chief executive officer on July 1.

On the marketing side, touting itself as “the only company with three treatment options designed to meet patient needs across the spectrum of migraine,” Abbvie says that “through education and partnerships with the migraine community, we strive to help those with migraine navigate barriers to care, access effective treatments and reduce the impact of migraine on their lives.”

That includes migraine's impact on the workplace. The company has just launched the Abbvie Migraine Career Catalyst Award™ Contest.

Through Sept. 3, migraine sufferers are invited to visit a dedicated website to enter the contest by submitting an essay, video or audio clip describing their migraine experience, career goals, and how a $2,500 award might help them in that career.

Judges will choose 20 winners, each of whom will receive $2,5000, which Abbvie hopes they’ll use “toward career support, including career counseling, professional development programs, and networking opportunities.”

Abbvie is promoting the contest via its own social media and getting the word out via patient advocacy groups, the company tells Marketing Daily.

How much of a problem are migraines at work?

Abbvie says a recent Chronic Migraine Epidemiology and Outcomes study “revealed substantial stigma against people living with migraine, with many feeling that co-workers and supervisors perceive their migraine attacks as an excuse to dismiss responsibilities at work.

The new award is designed “to empower migraine patients to pursue their career goals with confidence," Jag Dosanjh, president, of neuroscience and eye care for Abbvie, said in a press release announcing the contest.  

The release also quoted Dr. Dawn Buse, clinical professor of neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City: "Common migraine symptoms – including extra sensitivity to lights, sounds and smells, nausea, intense pain, difficulty thinking clearly and more -- can make it difficult or impossible to work."

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