WASHINGTON, DC, March 16, 2017 – President Trump’s call for deep cuts in scientific research in his Fiscal Year 2018 budget request undermines important progress being made to cure Alzheimer’s – a disease that affects more than 5.5 million Americans and will cost the nation $259 billion in 2017. UsAgainstAlzheimer’s is urging the Administration and Congress to reject any plans that diminish the nation’s ability to fight Alzheimer’s and continue investments in important scientific research by committing to funding NIH.
“We are unalterably opposed to the deep cuts proposed to NIH and medical research programs, which would threaten to undo the years of gains made in the fight against Alzheimer’s,” said UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Co-Founder and Chairman George Vradenburg. “The most direct path to health care cost savings is investing in research to achieve treatments and cures. Bipartisan leadership in Congress has strongly supported this path, and we urge Congress to reject the Administration’s proposed cuts.”
The Trump Administration’s request is at odds with the groundbreaking 21st Century Cures Act passed by Congress last year that added nearly $5 billion to NIH over a decade – a recognition that cures are cheaper than care. The President's request also undermines measures approved last year by House and Senate committees to increase FY 2017 Alzheimer’s annual funding by $350-$400 million to almost $1.4 billion, as part of recent actions by Congress to increase the NIH budget overall.
Most distressing is that even with the recent increases, current Alzheimer’s funding is far below that of other diseases, yet the cost and impact of the disease is far higher today and promises to grow dramatically in the coming years. Alzheimer’s researchers have said that the minimum level of annual funding to achieve the national goal of stopping Alzheimer’s by 2025 is $2 billion a year at NIH.
Full details on the budget, including funding levels for individual Institutes and Centers at the NIH or for research on specific diseases or conditions, have yet to be released. UsAgainstAlzheimer’s looks forward to reviewing more complete information from the Administration and will strongly oppose any budget action that undermines research and slows the progress made possible by advocates, policymakers and researchers to deliver hope for the millions of Americans with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, as well as their caregivers.
“UsAgainstAlzheimer’s looks forward to working with the many bipartisan leaders in Congress who recognize that a well-funded NIH is critical to our efforts at promoting the nation’s health and reducing costs associated with diseases like Alzheimer’s,” Vradenburg said. “We also hope to engage in dialogue with the new Administration to revisit these proposals going forward.”
UsAgainstAlzheimer's is an innovative, patient-centered non-profit demanding – and delivering – a solution to Alzheimer’s. Driven by the suffering of millions of families, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s presses for greater urgency from government, industry and the scientific community in the quest for an Alzheimer's cure – accomplishing this through its own patient-centered effective leadership, collaborative advocacy and strategic investments.
Founded in 2010, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s has worked across sectors to: (1) secure the national goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025; (2) help secure nearly $1 billion in additional public funding for Alzheimer’s research over the past few years; (3) drive global efforts that resulted in the leaders of the world’s most powerful nations, the G7 group, to embrace a similar 2025 goal and to call for greater levels of research investment and collaboration; (4) transform the system of Alzheimer’s clinical trials for greater speed, efficiency and quality; and (5) forge a global process of industry, regulators and payers to bring greater clarity to the approval and payment of innovative medicines for Alzheimer’s.
Contact: Tim Tassa