With Alzheimer’s and other dementias claiming more than 500,000 lives per year, the disease is one of America’s leading causes of death; If nothing is done to change the trajectory of Alzheimer’s, the number of Americans afflicted with the disease is expected to more than triple between 2015 and 2050
In letter to the President, senators called for additional support for federal Alzheimer’s research to help find a way to prevent and effectively treat the disease by 2025
Washington, DC— U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Susan Collins pushed to boost support for research to help fight Alzheimer’s. With Alzheimer’s and other dementias claiming more than 500,000 lives per year, the disease is one of America’s leading causes of death. If nothing is done to change the trajectory of Alzheimer’s, the number of Americans afflicted with the disease is expected to more than triple between 2015 and 2050. In a letter to President Obama, the senators called for additional support for federal Alzheimer’s research to help find a way to prevent and effectively treat the disease by 2025. Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) also signed the letter.
“Alzheimer's presents one of the toughest medical and economic challenges our country faces today,” Klobuchar said. “With cases expected to triple by 2050, we must act now to support the cutting-edge research that will help prevent, treat, and cure Alzheimer’s.”
Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that takes a tremendous personal and economic toll on both the individual and family, and our entire society,” Collins said. “Finding better treatments and ultimately a cure for this terrible disease must be an urgent national priority.”
Senators Klobuchar and Collins have been vocal advocates in the fight against Alzheimer’s. They have continually fought for additional support for research and introduced a Senate resolution last Congress declaring that the goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025 is an urgent national priority.
The full text of the letter is below:
Dear Mr. President:
Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that exacts a tremendous personal and economic toll on the individual, the family, and our society. In addition to the human suffering it causes, Alzheimer’s costs the United States more than $214 billion a year, including $150 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid. These costs will skyrocket as the baby boom generation ages.
Alzheimer’s is one of our nation’s leading causes of death with recent data revealing that, each year, more than 500,000 deaths are attributable to Alzheimer’s and other dementias – six times the amount previously estimated. Moreover, Alzheimer’s is the only one of our nation’s deadliest diseases without an effective means of prevention, treatment, or cure.
If nothing is done to change the trajectory of Alzheimer’s, the number of Americans afflicted with the disease is expected to more than triple between 2015 and 2050. Already our nation’s costliest disease, Alzheimer’s is projected to cost our country more than $1 trillion by 2050.
At a time when the United States is spending more than $200 billion a year to care for Alzheimer’s patients, we are spending less than three tenths of one percent of that amount – less than $600 million a year – on research. Alzheimer’s receives funding disproportionately low compared to its human and economic toll. Indeed, similarly deadly diseases receive annual funding of $2 billion, $3 billion, and even $5.4 billion for research. Surely, we can do more for Alzheimer’s given the tremendous human and economic price of this devastating disease.
Investments in research for other diseases have yielded tremendous results: patients have access to new treatments, and death rates for some diseases are decreasing. Yet, at the same time, mortality due to Alzheimer’s is escalating dramatically. Fortunately, there is promising research that holds hope for Alzheimer’s patients and their families. The research community is poised to make important advances through clinical trials and investigating new therapeutic targets. But adequate funding is critical to advance this research.
The federal funding bill for FY 2015 takes an important step forward by providing an additional $72 million for Alzheimer’s research and caregiver programs. We believe, however, that we need to do more.
The National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, which was authorized by the bipartisan 2010 National Alzheimer’s Project Act, has as its primary goal, to “prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025.” To meet that goal, the Chairman of the Advisory Council created by the legislation says that we will need to devote $2 billion a year to Alzheimer’s research.
We believe that increasing our nation’s spending on Alzheimer’s research would be a wise investment. We therefore urge you to boost our current investment in Alzheimer’s research in your FY 2016 budget request and ask that you work with us to develop a plan to meet the research investment objective set forth in the National Plan.
We know that you share our commitment to finding a way to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s by 2025. Thank you for your efforts, and we look forward to working with you to meet that goal.