FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | February 3, 2014
ALZHEIMER'S FOUNDATION OF AMERICA URGES ADMINISTRATION TO DOUBLE DOWN ON ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE FUNDING IN FY'15 BUDGET
NEW YORK (February 3, 2014) — In a letter to President Obama, Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., the chief executive officer of the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA), has called for doubling down its investment in Alzheimer's disease research and support services in next year's budget by increasing funds for this "unprecedented public health crisis" by at least $500 million. This proposed increase would boost the approximately $530 million for Alzheimer's disease included in the FY'14 budget at the National Institutes on Aging (NIA) to more than $1 billion in FY'15.
"We are thankful that the Administration and Congress have prioritized tackling Alzheimer's disease and carrying out the goals of the historic 'National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease,' which calls for a cure or effective treatment by 2025," said Fuschillo. "This unprecedented public health crisis warrants an unprecedented investment. We are hopeful that the latest increase in funding will pave the way for greater funding in Alzheimer's disease research and care in the next fiscal year and beyond that is more in line with investments in other chronic disease states."
Currently, there are an estimated five million people living with Alzheimer's disease, which is the nation's sixth leading cause of death. As the population in the United States ages, incidences of the number of persons affected by Alzheimer's disease are expected to triple by 2050.
Costs associated with Alzheimer's disease are also growing at an escalating rate. A 2013 RAND study of adults aged 70 and older found that total economic cost of dementia in 2010 was estimated to be $109 billion for direct care—higher than heart disease and cancer; and $159 billion to $215 billion when cost of informal care is included.
"Smart investments in cancer, HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease and diabetes have yielded breakthrough treatments and given hope to millions," said Fuschillo. "Without the same commitment for Alzheimer's disease, costs will continue to rise at unprecedented rates and promising research will remain unfunded, slowing scientific progress for a cure."
The President is expected to release his FY'15 budget on March 3.
Members of Congress are also urging increased Alzheimer's disease appropriations. A bipartisan resolution (S. Res.303) has been introduced by Sens. Klobuchar (D-MN) and Collins (R-ME) calling on the Senate to commit to doubling the amount of Alzheimer's disease research spending in FY'15 with a ramp up to $2 billion by FY'19.
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About Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA)
Contact: Amanda (Hirschhorn) Secor