$2.3 Billion for Alzheimer’s Research Championed by Senator Collins Clears Key Senate Hurdle

The $425 million funding boost represents the largest-ever increase for Alzheimer’s research and would put the U.S. on the path to preventing and treating this disease by 2025

Washington, D.C.—Following a concerted push by U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee and the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s disease, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a $425 million increase for Alzheimer’s research today, the largest increase in history, bringing total funding to $2.34 billion for Fiscal Year 2019.  This amount surpasses the $2 billion per year experts have said is needed to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s by the year 2025.

 

“I have long championed increased investments for Alzheimer’s, which hold great promise for putting an end to this disease that has a devastating effect on millions of Americans and their families,” said Senator Collins.  “We have made tremendous progress in recent years to boost funding for biomedical research, and this legislation builds on that momentum by providing the largest-ever increase for Alzheimer’s, exceeding our $2 billion goal.  I am encouraged by the bipartisan commitment to spurring the development of a means of prevention and treatment for this terrible disease.”

 

Senator Collins has long made fighting Alzheimer’s one of her top priorities due to the disease’s exorbitant human and financial costs.  More than 5 million people across America—and 28,000 in Maine—are living with Alzheimer’s.  In addition, Alzheimer's and other dementias cost our nation an estimated $277 billion a year, including $186 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid.  If we remain on our current trajectory, nearly 14 million seniors are projected to be living with Alzheimer’s in 2050, and the cost will surpass $1.1 trillion annually.

 

In 2011, Senator Collins authored the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA), with then-Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN).  NAPA convened a panel of experts, who determined that $2 billion per year in research funding is needed to achieve our goal of preventing and treating Alzheimer’s by the year 2025. 

 

Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) spoke about the milestone the bill reaches for Alzheimer’s research at today’s hearing: “Senator Collins and Senator Bayh, in 2011, in the National Alzheimer’s Act, called on Congress to allocate $2 billion dollars to Alzheimer’s research.  We’re finally there. And in fact, this bill has in it $2.34 billion dollars, [up] from $640 million dollars just three years ago. And Senator Collins has been talking about this a long time and she and Senator Bayh set a marker that took a while to get to, but we’re here and look forward to progress with Alzheimer’s because of that.”

 

The $425 million in additional funding for Alzheimer’s research advanced by the Appropriations Committee today builds on significant increases Senator Collins has secured in recent years, including $414 million in FY 2018, $400 million in FY 2017, and $350 million FY 2016.