2022 Headache on the Hill

Our fifteenth annual Headache on the Hill event took place on February 15, 2022.

Ask #1: Indian Health Service Headache Disorders Centers of Excellence

US American Indian / Alaskan Native (AI/AN) communities have the highest prevalence of disabling headaches. Over 560,000 people (22.1% of 2.56 million) under Indian Health Service care have migraine or severe headaches. We are proposing a new Headache Disorders Centers of Excellence program to include direct care, telehealth, consultation, education, training, and research.

Ask #2: General Accountability Office (GAO) report on NIH funding realtive to disease burden, especially for headache disorders.

Congress has directed National Insitutes of Health (NIH) to consider disease burden in funding decisions, and NIH has committed to doing so. The Appropriations Committee “expects NIH to consider the burden of a disease when setting priorities”. The NIH HEAL Initiative statutory authority [42 USC § 284q–1] mandates disease burden as a funding priority. The NIH-Wide Strategic Plan cites disease burden as “a crucial, but not the only, consideration”. Yet some diseases languish, year after year, with chronic under-funding of NIH research relative to their burdens. Migraine is the least-funded research area relative to its very high burden – 14-fold disparity in 2017