Largest-Ever Increase for Alzheimer’s Research Signed into Law Following Senator Collins’ Advocacy

The $425 million funding boost puts the U.S. on the path to preventing and treating this disease by 2025

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, Congress passed and the President signed into law a $425 million increase for Alzheimer’s research—the largest increase in history—which brings the country’s total investment 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.

 

“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,” said Senator Collins.  “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.  I am encouraged by the sustained, bipartisan commitment for this research.”

 

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 FY 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill.  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.