Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Increase of $400 million for Alzheimer’s Disease Research; Bill Will Now Advance to Full United States Senate
UsAgainstAlzheimer’s applauds Committee’s support for research and additional provisions focused on the patient and family caregiver
WASHINGTON, DC, June 9, 2016—The full Senate Appropriations committee approved a fiscal year 2017 spending bill that would increase Alzheimer’s disease research at the National Institutes of Health by $400 million, a significant step forward toward the 2025 goal set by the Administration and a major victory for achieving medical progress for the millions currently with Alzheimer’s and the many who will be affected in the near future.
The legislation, which also includes the Health Outcomes, Planning, and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer's Act, as well as report language encouraging Medicare to develop a pilot program to support family caregivers, will now go before the full United States Senate.
The HOPE Act is bipartisan legislation that would increase the likelihood that patients with Alzheimer's will receive an accurate diagnosis of the disease and will provide Medicare reimbursement for care planning to help the beneficiary receive the best care possible. The caregiver support report language encourages Medicare to recognize the value of counseling and supportive services targeted to (non-paid) family caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s to help them better manage the care of their loved one and to enable family caregivers to maintain their loved one with Alzheimer’s in the home for longer periods of time.
“We want to thank the entire committee, and especially Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS), Vice Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Labor, HHS Subcommittee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), for prioritizing what is clear: to stop this devastating disease, we need to increase research investment dramatically to and beyond $2 billion annually, a level that equals less than one percent of the costs to the government of caring for Alzheimer’s disease,” said UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Co-Founder and Chairman George Vradenburg. “We are grateful for the urgency that Senate Alzheimer’s champions have put forth to ensure that we can achieve a means of preventing and treating Alzheimer’s by 2025.”
“We also commend HOPE Act sponsors Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) for working to include this legislation in the bill, and applaud Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) for working to include the caregiver support language in the committee report,” Vradenburg added.
UsAgainstAlzheimer’s has fervently supported this push for increased funding through multiple advocacy and educational efforts focused on Congress and the Administration. The bill’s funding aligns with the amount UsAgainstAlzheimer’s has advocated for throughout the year, beginning by leading a stakeholder letter to the Office of Management and Budget in early January and through ongoing Congressional advocacy activities both individually and with allies. Key to this effort was an annual sign-on letter to the Appropriations Committee – led by Senators Collins , Mark Warner (D-VA), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Ed Markey (D-MA) and signed by 30 Senators – urging committee members to continue making Alzheimer’s research a priority.
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.
Founded in 2010, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s has worked across sectors to: (1) secure the national goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025 and help secure nearly $500 million in additional public funding for Alzheimer’s research over the past few years; (2) 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; and (3) forge industry commitments to improve efficiencies for an expedited drug discovery and approval process.
Contact: Tim Tassa