Making Alzheimer's a Priority at 2019 G20 Osaka Summit
ResearchersAgainstAlzheimer’s, The University of Tokyo, and Health and Global Policy Institute’s joint Communique calls for the G20 leaders to launch a “Global Fund Against Dementia”
April 12, 2018 – Today, ResearchersAgainstAlzheimer’s (RA2), The University of Tokyo, and Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) released a Consensus Statement and Research Framework that outlines the urgent need to adopt Aging and Dementia as a theme of the G20 Summit in 2019, and puts forward a recommendation from some of the world’s leading Alzheimer’s experts asking the world's wealthiest countries to call for:
- Increased focus on Alzheimer’s as part of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development goals;
- International collaboration on the development of biomarkers and diagnostics;
- International linkages between regional clinical trial systems;
- Increased regulatory coordination to speed new medicines to those in need;
- Greater support for genome-wide association studies; and
- Increased funding for drug development and evidenced-based care practices.
The researchers also ask G20 leaders and in particular Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to lead in the development of a “Global Fund Against Dementia,” dedicated to research, diagnostics, and the distribution of innovative medicines to ensure that we stop the disease by 2025. These actions are the result of a historic meeting hosted by RA2, the University of Tokyo, and HGPI last month in Japan in tandem with the Japan-UK Dementia Conference.
“We are grateful to the experts and researchers from various G20 countries who attended the meeting in Tokyo last month and for contributing to our consensus statement and research framework to help create urgency and global action,” said George Vradenburg, Chairman of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s. “We are confident that Prime Minister Abe will make Dementia a priority, as he has shown leadership on issues of this magnitude before.”
Right now, 50 million people are living with dementia globally. And, as the world rapidly ages, that number is set to nearly triple within our lifetimes, reaching 152 million by 2050 — more than the entire population of Japan today. As the next G20 host, Japan – a country where 27% of its total population is 65 or older – has an important opportunity to spearhead global efforts to advance our understanding of the science underlying Alzheimer’s disease and to spark the political cooperation needed to mitigate its escalating global health and economic impacts.
This communique comes on the heels of the Japan-UK Dementia Conference’s official statement and executive summary that also urged Japan to put Aging and Dementia on next year’s G20 agenda.
“UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, in partnership with the Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s (CEOi), applauds the Japan-UK Dementia Conference leadership for calling on Japan to make Aging and Dementia a top priority of its G20 leadership and including it as part of the official statement from the conference,” stated Vradenburg, “We hope that the G20 leaders will use the next summit to create a clear, comprehensive, and goal-oriented research effort.”
“Given all of these recent developments, there is no doubt we are approaching a tipping point in the race to cure Alzheimer’s, and global leadership from countries like Japan could be transformative,” added Vradenburg. “We look forward to continuing our work with the G20 and G7 Health Ministers, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the U.S. Government, and Japanese officials as we strive to find solutions to this shared challenge. UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, and our partners that represent millions, will continue to insist that global leaders prioritize dementia at the 2019 G20 Summit and beyond.”
Addressing a global health crisis like Alzheimer’s at the G20 is an important next step and builds on the increasingly coordinated global effort to combat Alzheimer’s disease over the past seven years. Previous global steps include:
- U.S. adopts National Plan with the goal of finding a means of prevention and effective treatment of Alzheimer’s by 2025.
- UK Prime Minister Cameron dedicates his G8 leadership in part to Alzheimer’s, which led to increased funding, new social movements, and greater awareness of the issue.
- The G8 adopts a dementia action plan, which outlines the goal of finding a cure or disease-modifying therapy by 2025 and establishes the World Dementia Council.
- CEOi and the New York Academy of Science convene global experts to set priorities for accelerating drug development globally, including the need for a global Alzheimer’s trial-ready platform to reduce clinical testing cycle times and to achieve greater efficiency and uniformity in trial sites around the globe. Following this convening, partners commit to forming the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation (GAP).
- OECD co-hosts with CEOi and other leading global voices the first annual Lausanne Conference outlining the path to 2025.
- Partners continue global discussions and partnership to design and develop GAP.
- Early stage GAP signs an MOU with the European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia Consortium (EPAD), an EU initiative to create a standing EU-wide clinical trial platform and longitudinal trial-ready cohort, agreeing to work together in Europe and North America to share learnings and link clinical trial efforts.
- WHO hosts the First WHO Ministerial on Dementia, attended by more than 90 countries.
- Dementia Friendly America, a multi-sector collaboration of communities, which supports individuals with dementia and their care partners, launches – supplementing ongoing efforts in Japan and the UK.
- GAP officially launches to bring together stakeholders from around the world to reduce the time, cost, and risk of Alzheimer’s clinical trials.
- The G7 Health Ministers reiterate their commitment to tackling dementia and to driving forward a global approach to meeting the challenges of the disease by signing the Kobe Communique.
- WHO adopts Global Action Plan for Dementia and launches the Global Dementia Observatory to advance national dementia action plans in all 200+ WHO member countries.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in response to advocacy organizations like UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, releases revised draft guidance for Alzheimer's drug development that will allow researchers to target the early stages of the disease — before symptoms fully manifest.
- Soon after, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) announces similar revised guidelines.
- GAP signs MOU with Japan Society for Dementia Research (JSDR), a research society fostering standing clinical trial networks and national registries, to share learnings and to link clinical trial initiatives in Japan and North America.
- UK-Japan Dementia Conference attendees call for Japanese leadership on dementia at 2019 G20 Summit.
- ResearchersAgainstAlzheimer’s, a network of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, co-hosts the Alzheimer’s Scientific Roundtable at the University of Tokyo with over 40 researchers, policymakers, and patient advocates from numerous G20 countries to discuss ways to facilitate research collaboration around the globe.