Alzheimer’s Tennessee Applauds Bi-Partisan Congressional Action to Increase Funding for Alzheimer’s Research and Initiatives
(Jan. 2014) Alzheimer’s Tennessee applauds this month’s unprecedented $122 million increase in funding for Alzheimer’s disease research as well as key education, outreach and caregiver support initiatives.
Leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees should be commended for including the increase within the FY 2014 omnibus appropriations package that President Obama signed into law.
Alzheimer’s Tennessee advocates met with Senate Appropriations Committee member Senator Lamar Alexander and his Washington D.C. staff, as well as his area Field Representative, to explain the dire need for additional Alzheimer’s disease research funding to address the extraordinary global health crisis that more than 120,000 Tennesseans are living with today.
Alzheimer’s Tennessee has partnered with organizations including USAgainstAlzheimer’s and WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s Network to be a leading voice in the call for the funding levels necessary to achieve the national goal of preventing and treating Alzheimer’s by 2025.
“Nearly every minute, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. We are paying dearly for Alzheimer’s already today, an estimated $200 billion in the U.S. alone, $140 million of which is shouldered primarily by taxpayers via Medicare and Medicaid,” Janice Wade-Whitehead, Alzheimer’s Tennessee Executive Director explained. ‘We have turned the global tide in the battle against AIDS. Now we need to do it again. We will bankrupt our healthcare systems if we don’t,’ he said.”
Currently, the NIH invests about $500 million a year in Alzheimer’s research and $5.4 billion in cancer and $4 billion in heart disease research. Alzheimer’s Tennessee continues its dialogue with Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker along with their staff, all of whom have proven to be champions in the fight against Alzheimer’s.
“Alzheimer’s is the challenge of our lifetime and to fail to act now will result in a financial calamity, and worse, rob us of those who we cherish most. We continue to call upon our leaders to commit to a level of investment in research for Alzheimer’s at a scale commensurate to the Alzheimer’s threat,” Wade-Whitehead added.
Ultimately, Alzheimer’s Tennessee and its partners are calling to double the current National Institutes of Health (NIH) commitment to Alzheimer’s research in order to achieve $2 billion in annual research funding within 5 years. That accounts for just 1 percent of the estimated cost of care for Americans with Alzheimer’s.