WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, who co-chairs the Bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease and is leading the effort to increase federal funds for research, is commending Congressional negotiators for including an additional $72 million for Alzheimer’s research and caregiver programs in the FY 2015 funding bill being considered this week.
Senator Collins recently wrote to leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee calling for an increase in funding for the National Institute on Aging (NIA) as well as additional federal support for caregiver programs.
In the letter, Senator Collins wrote, “In addition to the human suffering it causes, Alzheimer’s poses tremendous health and economic challenges for our nation. Alzheimer’s is the nation’s third leading cause of death behind only heart disease and cancer, and is the only disease in the top ten without an effective way to prevent it, cure it, or even slow its progression. At a time when Alzheimer’s is costing $214 billion a year, including $150 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid, we are spending less than $600 million a year on Alzheimer’s research.”
Following the release of details of the omnibus funding bill, Senator Collins said, “It must be a national goal to prevent, and effectively treat, or cure Alzheimer’s disease by 2025. This year alone, we will spend $26,500 on care for every $1 spent on research. A greater federal investment to fighting this devastating disease makes sense both to prevent suffering and to reduce health care costs. The funding provided next year is a step in the right direction.”
The FY 2015 Omnibus funding bill includes the following, new Alzheimer’s disease spending provisions:
- $3.3 million for Healthy Brain (Alzheimer’s and cognitive diseases) initiative at CDC. CDC is directed to recommend ways to obtain more accurate information on the death rate due to Alzheimer’s.
- $25 million increase for research at the National Institute on Aging.
- $25 million increase for the BRAIN initiative at NIH.
- $14.3 million to expand services that will help address the unique circumstances of Alzheimer’s patients while easing burden on their caregivers.
- $4.2 million for outreach activities to raise awareness of the disease and related services available to the public.