Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a founder of the Alzheimer’s Task Force in the Senate and a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement on the release of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) fiscal year (FY) 2021 Professional Judgement Budget for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. NIH estimates it will need a total of $2.822 billion in FY 2021 to find a means of effectively treating or preventing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias by 2025.
“An estimated 5.6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s today, and an estimated one in three seniors will die with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. Unless we find ways to change the trajectory and stop this disease, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s is expected to climb to nearly 14 million by 2050,” said Senator Collins. “Alzheimer’s is not only devastating for families but also ranks as our nation’s most costly disease.”
“I have strongly advocated for significant increases in funding for biomedical research. We have made progress in understanding Alzheimer’s disease in recent years, but we still have a long way to go,” Senator Collins continued. “The National Alzheimer’s Project Act, which I authored with former Senator Evan Bayh, sets a goal of effectively treating, curing, or preventing Alzheimer’s disease by 2025. Investment in biomedical research is critical to achieving these goals, and NIH has now officially informed Congress of the investment needed to combat this devastating disease. I support the NIH’s budget request.”
In 2011, Senator Collins authored the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA), with then-Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN). As a result of NAPA, the NIH develops the Professional Judgement Budget, commonly known as the Bypass Budget Proposal, each year until FY 2025. The document reflects a careful and thorough analysis of completed and ongoing research and the continuing needs of everyone involved to achieve the national goal of effectively treating or preventing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias by 2025. Only two other areas in biomedical research (cancer and HIV/AIDS) are the subject of bypass budget proposals aimed at speeding discovery.
Last year, Senator Collins secured an additional $425 million—the largest increase in history—for Alzheimer’s research, bringing our total investment to $2.34 billion in FY 2019. 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.