We all get occasional twinges between the eyes (particularly after the night before), but a bad migraine can mean several days in bed in a darkened room. With six million sufferers in the UK, that can add up to a mighty headache for employers. For most sufferers, aspirin makes little impression and, until recently, many migraine treatments came with unacceptable side effects. Enter Zomig from AstraZeneca, a second generation anti-migraine drug, which works by blocking the pain pathways in the brain. Taken at the onset of an attack Zomig is claimed to be effective within one hour and allows many sufferers to function normally throughout a migraine.
At around £50 a pill, these executive little helpers don't come cheap. Side effects can include a tightness in the chest, mild nausea or dizziness, but these are rare. With sales rising rapidly ( £61 million last year), the City is confident in Zomig's future earnings.