Congress Delivers Major Wins for Alzheimer’s Patients

Congress Delivers Major Wins for Alzheimer’s Patients

Bill strengthens FDA accelerated approval, promotes diversity in clinical trials, and authorizes ARPA-H while delivering $226 million in additional funding for Alzheimer’s research

Washington, D.C. (December 23, 2022) – Alzheimer’s patients, caregivers, and advocates secured major wins in the end-of-year budget package passed by Congress today. In addition to a $226 million increase in research funding, the bill includes key priorities advocated for by UsAgainstAlzheimer’s as part of our focus on disease prevention, early detection and diagnosis, and access to treatment.

Some of the bill’s highlights include:

  • Strengthening the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) accelerated approval program by clarifying the agency’s legal authority to specify requirements for post-approval studies and establishing safeguards to ensure consistent and appropriate use of this approval pathway for innovative therapies.
  • Formally authorizing the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) and increasing its funding by $500 million. Further, the bill helps ensure ARPA-H will function as the innovation-driven agency it is meant to be by granting it flexibility in making funding awards and mandating offices to be located away from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus.
  • Diversifying clinical trials by directing the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to work with the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers and other stakeholders across the country to promote clinical trial participation among underrepresented populations and lower the barriers for enrollment.
  • Prioritizing Alzheimer’s prevention by directing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop specific strategies for achieving Goal Six of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act, which focuses on promoting healthy aging and preventing risk factors for Alzheimer’s.
  • Investing in the future of research, in part, by directing the NIA to enter into an agreement with the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, which will work with other stakeholders to study and recommend research priorities for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s and related dementias.
  • Increasing funding support for Alzheimer’s public health programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These programs help individuals, healthcare providers, and communities apply evidence-based practices to tackle current public health challenges presented by Alzheimer’s.

“It’s not a silver bullet, but there is so much in this bill to be thankful for,” said George Vradenburg, chair and co-founder of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s. “A budget is a statement of your priorities, and it’s clear members of Congress share our commitment to ending Alzheimer’s and until we do, we must advance its research, innovative therapies, and public health programs. On behalf of the 6.5 million Alzheimer’s patients and their loved ones, I thank our congressional allies on both sides of the aisle for your support, and we look forward to working with the next Congress to ensure we keep our foot on the gas pedal until Alzheimer’s is a thing of the past.”

For a complete breakdown of the Alzheimer’s-related elements of the bill, read our summary.

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About UsAgainstAlzheimer’s

UsAgainstAlzheimer’s exists to conquer Alzheimer’s disease. We take on the toughest problems; bring all of “Us” together to break down barriers; advocate for research that will speed treatments to market; and drive changes that matter most to people living with the disease. We will not rest until brain-span equals lifespan - for everyone.