Dec 15, 2010: Bill to Improve Prevention and Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease Passes!

New Law Will Establish First-Ever National Strategy for Curing, Mitigating Effects of Alzheimer’s

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House and Senate have passed the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (N.A.P.A.) co-authored by Representatives Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Representative Chris Smith (R-N.J.), House co-chairs of the Bipartisan, Bicameral Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease. Introduced in February of this year, the National Alzheimer’s Project Act would create the National Alzheimer’s Project which would coordinate government efforts to prevent and treat the disease and create a national strategy for defeating Alzheimer’s.

When America has a game plan, America wins. Passage of this bill means we will help ensure that the federal government better coordinates all of the research and clinical programs dealing with Alzheimer's, which is now the seventh leading cause of death in the United States,” said Rep. Markey.  This bill requires a plan for beating Alzheimer’s and represents an important step forward in our country’s efforts in this area.

Today, the House gave final passage, by voice vote, to the measure which was championed in the Senate by Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine.).The bill is now headed to President Obama, who is expected to sign it into law, delivering one of the most significant victories in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease in the past three decades. 

Unless science finds a way to prevent or cure Alzheimer’s, nearly 16 million Americans will have the disease by the year 2050. That is going to devastate the families who have a loved ones afflicted with the disease.  It will also drain billions in treatment costs from Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health programs,” concluded Markey.

The passage today of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act is a huge step forward in our battle against the crisis of Alzheimer’s disease,” Smith said. “With the incredible devastation of over five million Americans afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease at an estimated cost of over  $170 billion – numbers expected to skyrocket in coming years without effective interventions – we need to be sure we are doing everything possible to reverse the course of this disease. By requiring the development of a coordinated, integrated national plan to address Alzheimer’s, N.A.P.A. will provide the framework to accelerate the development of efficacious care and treatments.”

Under the legislation, the National Alzheimer’s Project will provide strategic planning and coordination for the fight against Alzheimer’s disease across the federal government. It would be located within the Department of Health and Human Services, be overseen by an advisory council and would coordinate and oversee federal research on Alzheimer’s disease.