USA2: President’s Budget Fails to Make Significant Push for Alzheimer’s Research
Washington, DC -- USAgainstAlzheimer’s, an entrepreneurial and disruptive advocacy organization demanding greater urgency in the fight against Alzheimer's, expressed disappointment in the Administration’s FY 2016 Budget proposal, which fails to provide the necessary resources for Alzheimer’s research to prevent and treat the disease by 2025, our national goal.
“I’m pleased to see an overall bump in funding for the National Institutes of Health and I’m eager to learn more about how the BRAIN and precision medicine initiatives will benefit patients with Alzheimer’s,” said George Vradenburg, Chairman and Co-founder of USAgainstAlzheimer’s. “But it’s distressing that the Administration did not push for more resources for Alzheimer’s disease research as it has done in the past. If we as a nation do not make Alzheimer’s research a top priority, we simply cannot meet our national goal of preventing and treating Alzheimer’s by 2025.”
“Next week is an important week for Alzheimer’s with the NIH’s Alzheimer’s Research Summit and the convening of the World Dementia Council. The state of science is advancing rapidly and with the right resources we have it in our power to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s. We all know that the President’s budget is the first step in a long process, and we look forward to working with the Administration and the Congress as this process unfolds to add the additional resources needed by NIH to achieve the 2025 goal.”
“We are also keenly aware of the sharp across-the-board cuts that will be implemented for FY 16 unless Congress and the Administration address them. These cuts had a devastating impact on NIH funding in 2013, and we must act to prevent a repeat story in 2016,” Vradenburg added.
According to White House documents, the President’s Budget provides $31.3 billion to support biomedical research at NIH, a level that should support an estimated 10,000 new NIH grants. It also supports a new precision medicine initiative, which has potential application to Alzheimer’s and dementia given the contribution of genetic variation both to the protection against and to the risk of the disease.
Background on Alzheimer’s
Recent research indicates that Alzheimer’s disease claims more than 500,000 lives in America annually, as more than five million victims are slowly dying of the disease. The number of individuals with Alzheimer's is expected to almost triple, approaching 16 million, in the next few decades, and research shows that the direct care costs of Alzheimer’s exceeds those of cancer and heart disease. Total costs of Alzheimer’s exceed $200 billion annually, and 70 percent of this cost is shouldered by Medicare and Medicaid. If substantial progress is not made in stopping Alzheimer’s, Medicare and Medicaid spending will reach $1.2 trillion in today’s dollars by 2050.
The National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) passed Congress unanimously and was signed into law by President Barack Obama in January 2011. It required the creation of a national strategic plan to address the rapidly escalating Alzheimer’s disease crisis and the coordination of Alzheimer’s disease efforts across the federal government. Pushed by USAgainstAlzheimer’s, the plan set the national goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025. Without sufficient funding, this goal will not be met.
USAgainstAlzheimer’s is an entrepreneurial and disruptive organization demanding 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 helping secure more than $360 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.