UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Applauds Major Increase in Funding for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Research in Omnibus
Washington, DC – The agreement reached between the House and Senate on a massive Fiscal Year 2016 omnibus spending package includes an increase of $350 million for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for Alzheimer’s and dementia research.
“This major increase in Alzheimer’s research funding is a substantial step forward and shows that Congress is determined to address this horrific disease,” said George Vradenburg, Chairman of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s. “The increase brings the total NIH investment to approximately $936 million per year, a significant improvement in the path toward our goal of research funding equal to one percent of care costs, which have risen to $226 billion a year.”
UsAgainstAlzheimer’s (UsA2) has championed the push for meaningful increases in funding for Alzheimer’s research, engaging Congress and the Administration aggressively on this issue since its founding in 2010 when the annual level was approximately $400 million. UsAgainstAlzheimer’s spearheaded numerous efforts urging the increase. From coordinating letters from Alzheimer’s organizations to mobilizing diverse patient and caregiver advocates, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s has been a leader in highlighting the devastating impact of the disease on communities of color and the nation.
“We’re grateful to the many champions of increased Alzheimer’s funding, particularly Senators Roy Blunt, Barbara Mikulski and Susan Collins, and Representatives Tom Cole, Rosa DeLauro Chris Smith and Maxine Waters. This would not have happened without them,” Vradenburg said.
In addition, UsA2 helped secure a $15 million increase for the Department of Defense’s Peer-Reviewed Alzheimer’s Research Program which seeks to address the long-term consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI) as they pertain to Alzheimer's disease (AD). This represents a 25 percent increase over the FY 15 funding level.
Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias pose a grave threat to the health and well-being of our nation. More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s today, a number that is projected to increase to 14 million by 2050. Alzheimer’s and other dementias also cost an estimated $226 billion a year, including $153 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid. At a time when the United States is spending more than $200 billion to care for Alzheimer’s patients, we are spending substantially less than one percent per year on Alzheimer’s research.
While a critical piece of the solution, it will take more than government funding, especially in these difficult budgetary times, to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s. UsAgainstAlzheimer’s has worked across sectors to drive global efforts that resulted in the leaders of the the G7 group to embrace a similar 2025 goal and to call for greater levels of research investment and collaboration. UsAgainstAlzheimer’s has been a leader in the efforts to forge industry commitments to improve efficiencies for an expedited drug discovery and approval process.
The omnibus bill is expected to be voted on by the House of Representatives and the Senate this week.
UsAgainstAlzheimer’s (UsA2) is a relentless force committed to ending Alzheimer's by 2020. 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. We accomplish this through effective leadership, collaborative advocacy and strategic investments.