Jan 5, 2011: Markey

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

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, President Barack Obama signed into law historic new legislation co-authored by Representative 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. The National Alzheimer’s Project Act (N.A.P.A), which Reps. Markey and Smith introduced in February 2010, with companion legislation introduced in the Senate by Senators Evan Bayh (D-IN.) and Susan Collins (R-ME.), will create the National Alzheimer’s Project to coordinate government efforts to prevent and treat the disease and create a national strategy for defeating Alzheimer’s.

Now that this bill is law, we can 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. When America has a game plan, America wins,” said Rep. Markey. “This law requires a plan for beating Alzheimer’s and represents an important step forward in our country’s efforts in this area.  Future generations should have to turn to the history books to even learn of Alzheimer’s because we will have defeated it. That is the goal of this new law.”

Rep. Markey’s legislation signed into law yesterday by President Obama delivers one of the most significant victories in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease in the past three decades. 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, healthcare, and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

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