May 5, 2017
WASHINGTON–The Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to expediting Alzheimer’s clinical trials, applauds today’s $400 million Congressional increase in Alzheimer’s research funding. Under the bipartisan vote, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will receive a $2 billion boost in fiscal year 2017, as it did the previous year. The NIH budget continues to support key areas of research, including Alzheimer’s disease. The new budget sets aside an additional $400 million for Alzheimer’s research for a total of nearly $1.4 billion, a 40 percent increase.
“Scientific research and the related clinical trials funded by the NIH are the only way we can find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. A critical issue that delays scientific research is recruiting enough participants for clinical trials. This needed funding increase will help fill that void,” said John Dwyer, president of the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation.
“This disease enacts a destructive toll on millions of Americans and their families. To defeat it, we need robust research funding that will yield a long-sought-after breakthrough. This funding increase is a positive step forward. Additional basic and clinical research funding is essential to achieve our national goal of a prevention and treatment by 2025,” said George Vradenburg, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Co-Founder and Chair. “We will continue to press policymakers to make investments as the disease costs American families and taxpayers $259 billion per year.”
Currently, more than 80 percent of the NIH budget goes to about 300,000 outside researchers supporting research and jobs concerning a wide variety of diseases. Some of these researchers are part of the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation Network (GAP-Net). GAP-Net is a collaboration of 51 leading academic and private commercial research institutions working to reduce the cycle time of clinical research and drug development for Alzheimer’s disease – bringing therapies to market faster.
“The research being done today has put us closer than ever to promising discoveries in predictors of Alzheimer’s. This increase in funding will continue the momentum as we seek to find a cure for this devastating disease,” said GAP-Net member Allan Levey, MD, PhD, professor and chair of department of neurology of Emory University School of Medicine and director of the Emory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s is America’s costliest disease. Nearly 5.5 million Americans have the disease. This number could rise to as high as 16 million by 2050. More than 15 million caregivers provide an estimated 18 billion hours of unpaid care every year.
This bipartisan effort was spearheaded by Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and by House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-Okla.), and House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.).