Largest-Ever Increase for Alzheimer’s Research That Senator Collins Championed Passes Senate

The $425 million funding boost puts 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 approved a $425 million increase for Alzheimer’s research—the largest increase in history—which would bring the country’s total investment to $2.34 billion for fiscal year 2019.  Once the legislation is approved by a conference committee and signed into law, this amount will surpass 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 five 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. 

 

The Alzheimer’s research funding was included as part of the FY19 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, which now heads to a conference committee to reconcile differences between the Senate and House versions before heading to the President’s desk to be signed into law.  It 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.