Senators Collins, Klobuchar Lead Effort Calling On Congress To Make Fighting Alzheimer's Disease An Urgent National Priority

Last week, the Senators led a bipartisan letter calling on the President to increase Alzheimer’s research funding in his FY 2018 budget request

Washington, D.C. — Citing the tremendous personal and economic toll Alzheimer’s disease takes on our nation, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) today introduced a bipartisan Senate Resolution declaring that that the goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025 is an “urgent national priority”.

The resolution calls on the Senate to double the amount of funding the U.S. spends on Alzheimer’s in fiscal year 2017 and develop a plan to meet the target of $2 billion per year in funding as recommended by experts to meet the goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025. Last week, Senators Collins and Klobuchar also led a bipartisan letter to the President to request that he include an increase in funding for Alzheimer’s research in his FY 2018 budget request.

“Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that takes a tremendous personal and economic toll on both the individual and family,” said Senator Collins. “As the founder and Co-Chair of the Senate Alzheimer’s Task Force, working to increase federal funding to fight Alzheimer’s disease has long been one of my top priorities. The research community is poised to make important advances in Alzheimer’s research through clinical trials and investigating new targets, but adequate funding is critical to supporting these advances.”

“I’ve heard from countless Minnesotans about the pain and struggle of losing a loved one to this devastating disease,” said Senator Klobuchar. “The emotional and financial toll Alzheimer’s takes on patients, their families, and our health care system is staggering and we must step up efforts to address it. That’s why we’re making this bipartisan commitment to tackle Alzheimer’s head-on by investing in research to develop more effective treatments that one day may lead to a cure.”

This year, 5.4 million Americans will suffer from the devastating emotional and economic toll caused by Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, unless the current trajectory changes, that number will increase to 16 million in 2050. In addition, caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia cost our nation $236 billion—including $160 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid. Yet, our nation currently only spends about $991 million on research.