PoliticalNews.me - Apr 23,2014 - Senator Coons cosponsors bill to strengthen fight against Alzheimer’s
16,000 Delawareans – or 11 percent of seniors – currently live with Alzheimer’s
WILMINGTON, Del. – U.S. Senator Chris Coons has cosponsored bipartisan legislation to step up investment in lifesaving Alzheimer’s research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Alzheimer’s Accountability Act would support implementation of the National Alzheimer’s Plan, first developed by the NIH in 2012 with the goal of effectively preventing and treating Alzheimer’s by 2025. The bill would require the NIH to submit an annual budget to Congress and the President to determine the level of funding needed to meet the plan’s research targets.
“Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that has stolen too many Americans from their loved ones,” Senator Coons said. “Though our understanding of this disease has progressed remarkably over the last 15 years, there is still no known cure or treatment capable of slowing its progression. With the population of older Americans growing at a rapid pace, there has never been a more urgent time to fight for a cure. The Alzheimer’s Accountability Act will support groundbreaking research at the NIH aimed at effectively preventing and treating Alzheimer’s by 2025. This bill will ensure doctors and researchers at the NIH have the resources they need to do what they do best: deliver hope and a cure to families affected by Alzheimer’s.”
In 2010, Congress unanimously passed the bipartisan National Alzheimer’s Project Act, which called for an annually updated National Alzheimer’s Plan. The first version of the plan was released in 2012 and updated in June 2013. While NIH has established research milestones and timelines for implementation of the plan, they have not established the level of funding necessary to reach them. The bipartisan Alzheimer’s Accountability Act would authorize the NIH to submit an annual Alzheimer’s research budget specifying the funding levels NIH experts need to meet the plan’s goals.
“We are extremely grateful to Senator Coons for co-sponsoring the Alzheimer's Accountability Act, and commend his recognition of the enormous impact of Alzheimer’s disease on our nation and the need to address this epidemic,” said Katie Macklin, Delaware Executive Director for the Alzheimer’s Association Delaware Valley Chapter. “Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the only cause of death among the top 10 without a way to prevent, stop or even slow its progression. It is only through adequate funding and a strong implementation of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, that we will meet the plan’s most transformational goal – preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025 – saving billions of lives and trillions of dollars. The Alzheimer’s Accountability Act is needed so that Congress will hear directly from scientists what are the next steps necessary to advance the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.“
Alzheimer’s is the most costly disease in the U.S., with more than $140 billion from Medicare and Medicaid going to care for Alzheimer's patients last year. Five million Americans currently suffer from Alzheimer's, and the