Bipartisan Sponsors Capito, Sánchez, Roskam, Stabenow Build Momentum for CHANGE Act, a Critically Important Bill to Accelerate a Cure for Alzheimer’s
The Bill will Encourage Early Diagnosis, Relieve Caregiver Burden, and Provide the Infrastructure for Developing and Implementing Effective Treatments
Washington, DC (June 20th, 2018) – Today, in a demonstration of the growing bipartisan commitment to overcoming Alzheimer’s disease, Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Representative Linda Sánchez (D-CA) are calling on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to prioritize the fight against Alzheimer’s disease and urging their colleagues in Congress to join them in expediting a cure by cosponsoring the Concentrating on High-Value Alzheimer's (CHANGE) Act. Working with UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, they are sharing their personal experiences alongside those affected by the disease and those who are working to better understand and address the disease.
“Fighting Alzheimer’s is such a personal priority for me, and I’ve seen the devastating impact this disease has on patients, families, and caregivers across the country. That’s exactly why I introduced the CHANGE Act,” Senator Capito said. “By helping to improve the detection and early assessment of Alzheimer’s, this bipartisan legislation will not only help those affected by the disease, but it will also bring us one step closer to finding a cure. It’s an important bill that I will continue working with my colleagues and partners like UsAgainstAlzheimer’s to build support for and advance in Congress.”
The CHANGE Act, introduced earlier this year by Senator Capito, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Representative Sánchez, and Representative Peter Roskam (R-IL), is a highly-targeted approach to overcoming barriers to a faster cure for Alzheimer's disease, the third leading cause of death for Americans, and the only top ten killer that has no effective treatment or cure.
“Alzheimer’s is a heartbreaking disease that affects the whole family,” Senator Stabenow said. “Our bill helps encourage early diagnosis, relieves the burden on caregivers, and improves care for patients. We have strong partners in the fight against Alzheimer’s in the House and Senate and I will continue working across the aisle to move this bill forward.”
CHANGE encourages more timely and accurate assessment, detection, and diagnosis, supports innovative approaches to support family caregivers, and removes regulatory barriers to effective treatments. “This legislation will facilitate earlier identification and treatment of Alzheimer’s and provide caregivers the training to appropriately care for loved ones experiencing cognitive decline,” said Congressman Roskam. Without the provisions set forth in this bill, people are likely to continue to be diagnosed in the late stages of the disease, when there is little hope of stalling or reversing its impact.
Nearly 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and this number is expected to reach 16 million by 2050. Certain groups, including women and African Americans are disproportionately impacted by the disease. “Tackling the Alzheimer’s crisis requires a strong commitment to find a cure,” said Representative Linda Sánchez. “The staggering economic and social costs of the disease, coupled with unacceptable health disparities for minority communities such as Latinos and African Americans, are some of the driving forces that led to the CHANGE Act. I look forward to discussing the bill with my colleagues as we work together to defeat Alzheimer’s.”
In addition to its physical and emotional toll, Alzheimer’s is also the most expensive disease in the U.S. In 2018 alone, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia will cost the U.S. $277 billion, and the costs associated with the disease extend beyond direct medical costs. Last year, caregivers of those with dementia provided approximately 18.4 billion hours of unpaid care, valued at $232.1 billion. If all living Americans who will eventually develop Alzheimer’s were diagnosed early, when they have mild cognitive impairment (MCI), the U.S. could save $7.9 trillion.
“Earlier diagnosis is urgently needed to improve our understanding of the disease and to allow us to effectively treat it,” said George Vradenburg, Founder of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s. “This bipartisan legislation will help to accomplish these things, and we are grateful to Senators Capito and Stabenow and to Representatives Sánchez and Roskam for recognizing the moral and economic imperative before us. We simply cannot delay implementing the provisions laid out in this bill. Our country and the world’s economies depend on us acting and accelerating a cure.”
To beat this complex disease, we need a comprehensive, coordinated effort by elected leaders. Congressional leaders have demonstrated their dedication to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s by quadrupling Alzheimer’s research funding from $450 million to $1.8 billion in the last four years. Last week, the House Appropriations Committee continued this momentum, recommending a $401 million increase in Alzheimer’s disease research, bringing total annual funding to $2.25 billion. This funding, coupled with recent FDA guidance, which will allow for treatments that intervene at earlier stages of the disease, coupled with global leadership, passage of the CHANGE Act, and serious, strategic discussions by global leaders at the G-20 Summit could put us into a position to find a cure – and to find it quickly.
For more information, contact Jordan Nachbar at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-668-5313.
Founded in 2010, UsAgainstAlzheimer's (UsA2) is an innovative non-profit organization 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 effective leadership, collaborative advocacy, and strategic investments.