40-Percent Alzheimer’s Funding Increase Is Victory for All Americans
UsAgainstAlzheimer’s applauds Congressional leaders’ bipartisan effort to make Alzheimer’s a priority; urges swift approval by legislative and executive branches
WASHINGTON, DC—A bipartisan agreement to increase Alzheimer’s funding by $400 million at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for FY 2017, part of a total spending increase of $2 billion at NIH, is a major achievement. Congressional leaders, bolstered by thousands of advocates, including patients, caregivers, family members and allies, have responded to the urgent need to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, which affects more than 5.5 million Americans.
The comprehensive FY 2017 appropriations bill is expected to be passed by Congress and advance to the President’s desk later this week. Within the bill, the announced funding growth for Alzheimer’s research totals nearly $1.4 billion, a 40-percent increase.
UsAgainstAlzheimer’s applauds the Republican and Democratic Congressional leaders who brought the increase to fruition that will help ensure that rapid progress can be made against the only major disease that has no means to prevent, treat or cure, and for which death rates continue to rise.
“Our organization is fighting for the millions of families that have been hurt by Alzheimer’s, leading to personal devastation, financial hardships and second-hand suffering, so we are enormously pleased with the agreement to increase Alzheimer’s research funding to a level that is more commensurate with its impact. However, we can’t stop here. Alzheimer’s is a cancer-sized problem demanding a cancer-sized response,” said George Vradenburg, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Co-Founder and Chairman.
“We are grateful for the bipartisan leadership of lawmakers, such as Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Patty Murray (D-WA), and Representatives Tom Cole (R-OK) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). We look forward to working with them and their colleagues on additional efforts to strengthen research and provide needed resources to caregivers.”
Since its founding in 2010, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s has worked earnestly to increase public funding for Alzheimer’s research at NIH. Alzheimer’s researchers said in 2013 that the minimum level of annual funding to achieve the national goal of stopping Alzheimer’s by 2025 is $2 billion a year at NIH. That estimate, today, significantly underestimates the need for funding.
UsAgainstAlzheimer’s will continue to work vigorously to ensure that, in the near future, Alzheimer’s federal funding equals at least 1 percent of the total cost of Alzheimer’s and related dementias, which was $259 billion in 2017.