Migraine Action and The Migraine Trust have announced that there will now be one larger charity working for and on behalf of people with migraine. Migraine Action balloted its members in June to cease activity and donate its resources to The Migraine Trust, which passed and the process is expected to be completed by September 2018.

The two charities, that have worked alongside each other for over fifty years, are taking this step at a critical time for the migraine sector. There was a major breakthrough in the treatment of migraine in the last year with the development of the first treatment specifically designed for preventing migraine. This could be life-changing for many of the people whose lives are blighted by what is the third most common disease in the world.

Four drug companies have developed antibodies that neutralise and block calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), a chemical in the brain that is involved in both pain and sensitivity to sound and light in migraine. One of which is now going through the process to gain approval from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for their use in the UK. One larger charity will now be contributing to and monitoring this process.

As well as recent breakthroughs in research, there has been a recent focus on migraine in the workplace. Research published in April by the Work Foundation revealed how employers are consistently failing to make reasonable adjustments for people with migraine. This will be a significant focus for the charity and it will be campaigning for employers to be mindful of migraine.

Stressing how important it is to ensure that those with migraine are more visible and understood, Mike Wakefield, Chair of Migraine Action, says: “This is a once in a generation opportunity to change the lives of people living with the misery of migraine and we are going to put our resources together into ensuring it isn’t missed.

“Migraine is an invisible condition but it can be utterly debilitating. Despite this, those with migraine have had to struggle with people thinking that they have just a bad headache, and whose only options for treatment were repurposed drugs for other conditions.

“This has got to change and we are glad that our members have supported our decision to have one larger charity advocating for and supporting them.”

Ian Watmore, Chair of The Migraine Trust, agrees: “Around one in seven people get migraine, but it is an invisible condition in every sense. There will now be a stronger and unified voice speaking up for and helping people with migraine.”

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