Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a $400 million increase in Alzheimer's disease research funding at the NIH and included the Health Outcomes, Planning, and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer's Act (S. 857) in its funding bill. The Alzheimer's Association applauds the committee for this momentous action in the journey to end the Alzheimer's epidemic — and in improving support for those who face the disease today.
"Today, Alzheimer's disease is the only leading cause of death in the U.S. without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression," said Harry Johns, Alzheimer's Association president and CEO. "However, because of the bipartisan leadership that was demonstrated by the Senate Appropriations committee this week, the lives of those who have Alzheimer's, as well as their caregivers will be improved and we are a significant step closer to a world without Alzheimer's."
At a cost of $236 billion each year, Alzheimer's is the most expensive disease in the nation. Yet, today it receives only $991 million in NIH research funding, even following a nearly 60 percent increase last year. Leading experts have stated that a ramp up to at least $2 billion a year is necessary to meet the first goal of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease. Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) were instrumental in securing bipartisan support for the largest-ever increase in Alzheimer's disease research funding at the NIH for the second year.
"Senators Blunt and Murray, as well as the full Appropriations Committee, understand the physical, emotional and financial impact that this devastating and fatal disease has on millions of Americans," said Robert Egge, chief public policy officer of the Alzheimer's Association. "Their continued commitment to advance research and improve care and support for America's most expensive disease is transforming our nation's fight against Alzheimer's and related dementias."
If signed into law, the HOPE for Alzheimer's Act will ensure newly diagnosed Medicare beneficiaries receive comprehensive care planning services. Alzheimer's Association grassroots advocates and staff held thousands of congressional meetings to secure support for the HOPE for Alzheimer's Act since the bill's introduction, and have worked tirelessly to secure support for increased funding for NIH research.
For more information on Alzheimer's disease, visit alz.org.
The Alzheimer's Association leads the way to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's and all other dementia®. For more information, visit www.alz.org or call the 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.