Matt Hoffman, Senior Editor for NeurologyLive, has covered medical news for MJH Life Sciences, NeurologyLive’s parent company, since 2017. He hosts the NeurologyLive Mind Moments podcast, as well as Second Opinion on Medical World News. Follow him on Twitter @byMattHoffman or email him at email@example.com
The CEO of Biohaven Pharmaceuticals discussed the company’s new collaboration, which has made rimegepant (Nurtec ODT) available for prescription through Cove’s telemedicine platform.
Vlad Coric, MD
This month, Biohaven announced that it is partnering with Cove, a company focused on providing specialized care and access for patients with migraine, particularly through telemedicine. The partnership will make rimegepant (Nurtec ODT) available through Cove’s platform, marking it as the first branded medication to become so.1
This announcement comes just 2 months after its acute migraine treatment was granted FDA approval and a few weeks after it became available for prescription, and may help facilitate telemedicine evaluation for this patient population, particularly in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and an increased need for virtual visits.2,3
In order to discern more about the partnership and what it means for those practicing headache medicine, NeurologyLive spoke with Vlad Coric, MD, CEO of Biohaven. Coric shared insight into Cove’s platform, as well as what this may mean for the future of migraine care.
Vlad Coric, MD: Cove is the leader in providing telemedicine healthcare entirely focused on the needs of migraine patients. They developed a detailed medical consultation focused on end-to-end migraine care in close collaboration with their team of leading medical advisors. The consultation is thorough and is just as thorough as an in-person visit with a neurologist. It includes questions about a patient’s migraine and medical history, as well as a video upload section in which the patient completes tasks that ensure the person is getting the correct diagnosis and recommended treatment. If the patient is a fit for online migraine care, a physician within Cove’s network connects directly to the person and recommends a treatment plan. The medications can then be delivered right to the person’s door or sent to a local pharmacy. Cove has a range of migraine treatments ranging from acute treatments, such as triptans, to preventive therapies such as tricyclic antidepressants or topiramate, to dietary supplements, and of course Nurtec ODT. Cove recognizes that in order to fully deliver on its mission for patients, it must be a vehicle to deliver novel therapies. Nurtec ODT fills a clear unmet need for their patients who may be dissatisfied or don’t respond to triptans or have contraindications and need an acute treatment. Especially during this time of social distancing, Cove’s ability to offer new medications leveraging their telemedicine platform while complying with “shelter in place” is important. Telemedicine care enables patients to take care of their migraine from the comfort of their homes and continue to treat their condition just as aggressively as they could before.
Cove is a viable channel for high-quality migraine care, particularly in a time where office visits are limited. However, there are not enough migraine and headache specialists in this country, so even in more “normal” times, Cove fills an important unmet need for migraine sufferers who have no access to specialists or doctors who are fully educated on the latest innovations in migraine treatments. This partnership is not intended to replace the traditional physician-patient relationship, but rather provide another option for care, particularly when office visits are limited. On patient request, information from the Cove consult will be sent to their primary physician.
Getting access to care during this pandemic has been challenging for migraine sufferers who are used to going into their neurologist’s office on a regular basis. Cove fills in that gap by providing patients easy access to high-quality migraine care from their home, making it easier for everyone to stay safe at home while social distancing is required. Biohaven is committed to providing people with migraine innovative options for accessing healthcare, particularly given the challenges facing patients in the current healthcare environment. During this period, patients may experience an increase in attacks, and it is important to keep those suffering from migraine functioning normally, and out of doctor offices/emergency rooms to comply with travel restrictions. By making Nurtec ODT available through Cove's platform, we can provide migraine patients with another option to access doctors and treatment from the safety and comfort of their homes.
At the end of the day, Biohaven and Cove share the same goal—providing migraine sufferers with the care they deserve. So strong relationships with physicians who see patients in a traditional office setting, as well as those who see patients remotely are key to expanding access to novel migraine treatments like Nurtec ODT. As telemedicine continues to advance, our collaboration with Cove and other telemedicine providers will be essential to accelerating awareness, trial, and adoption of an acute migraine treatment that we believe will have transformative benefits for millions of people living with migraine.
Transcript edited for clarity.
1. Biohaven Enters Into Collaboration With Cove, Leading Migraine Telemedicine Platform, To Enhance Accessibility Of NURTEC™ ODT [press release]. New Haven, CT: Biohaven; Published April 7, 2020. Accessed April 14, 2020. prnewswire.com/news-releases/biohaven-enters-into-collaboration-with-cove-leading-migraine-telemedicine-platform-to-enhance-accessibility-of-nurtec-odt-301036378.html.
2. Biohaven's NURTEC™ ODT (rimegepant) Receives FDA Approval for the Acute Treatment of Migraine in Adults [press release]. New Haven, CT: Biohaven; Published February 27, 2020. Accessed April 14, 2020. prnewswire.com/news-releases/biohavens-nurtec-odt-rimegepant-receives-fda-approval-for-the-acute-treatment-of-migraine-in-adults-301013021.html.
3. Biohaven's NURTEC(TM) ODT (rimegepant 75mg) is Now Available in U.S. Pharmacies for the Acute Treatment of Migraine in Adults [press release]. New Haven, CT: Biohaven; Published March 12, 2020. Accessed April 14, 2020. ptcommunity.com/wire/biohavens-nurtectm-odt-rimegepant-75mg-now-available-us-pharmacies-acute-treatment-migraine.