Record $122 million increase for Alzheimer's disease passed by Congress, sent to president
An unprecedented $122 million increase for Alzheimer's research, education, outreach and caregiver support stemming from the efforts of Alzheimer's Association advocates was passed swiftly by Congress today. The Alzheimer's Association commends the bipartisan work of our elected officials to make Alzheimer's disease a national priority.
Congress has been engaged in addressing Alzheimer's over the last several years, having unanimously passed the bipartisan National Alzheimer's Project Act that mandated the first-ever National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease. The Alzheimer's Association looks forward to President Obama's signature on this most recent funding bill and subsequent announcements of how these resources will be used to meet the goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer's by 2025 established in this plan.
"The Alzheimer's Association applauds the bipartisan efforts of Congress and its recognition of the important messages delivered by our more than 600,000 advocates. Their personal stories, backed by the stark facts about the impact of this disease, powerfully conveyed the critical need for increased funding," said Robert Egge, Alzheimer's Association vice president of public policy. "We are committed to the families facing this disease and changing the trajectory of this crisis."
Over the past year, Alzheimer's Association advocates from every district in the nation met with their members of Congress to share their personal experiences and explain the dramatic impact Alzheimer's is imposing on our nation and economy. In addition to more than 2,600 congressional district meetings, 800 advocates from all 50 states attended the Alzheimer's Association Advocacy Forum in April 2013 to meet with their legislators on Capitol Hill. While there is a great deal more work to be done to achieve the goal set in the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease, this increased funding sought by Alzheimer's advocates will accelerate progress.
The funding allocated for Alzheimer's disease includes a $100 million increase for the National Institute on Aging for Alzheimer's research, which will be added to what the National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates will be $484 million in Alzheimer's research funding across NIH in fiscal year 2013. A further $3.3 million has been provided to support Alzheimer's caregivers, $4 million to train health professionals on issues related to Alzheimer's disease, $10.5 million to expand the home and community based caregiver services and $4.2 million for outreach activities to raise awareness. Additionally, the National Institutes of Health's BRAIN Initiative will receive $30 million to support brain research that could impact several diseases, including Alzheimer's.
There are currently more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's disease and that number is poised to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050, according the Alzheimer's Association 2013 Alzheimer's Disease Facts & Figures report. In addition to the human toll of the disease, care for Alzheimer's, the country's most expensive condition, costs the nation $203 billion annually with projections to reach $1.2 trillion by 2050. Yet for every $27,000 Medicare and Medicaid spent on caring for individuals with Alzheimer's, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) spends only $100 on Alzheimer's research.
The Alzheimer's Association commends Congress' bipartisan dedication to this cause despite unprecedented fiscal challenges. The Association now asks President Obama to swiftly sign this bill into law.
The Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit www.alz.org.