Washington (April 2, 2014) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) pushed for renewed focus on cost-saving, preventive health care research by today introducing S. 2192, The Alzheimer’s Accountability Act. The legislation would require the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to submit an annual budget to meet the goal of preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease by the year 2025. The budget would be submitted directly to the President for review and transmittal to Congress and would estimate the funding necessary for NIH to fully implement the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA). NAPA represents an historic commitment by the federal government to tackling a disease that costs $140 billion from Medicare and Medicaid to care for Alzheimer's patients last year. Already five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's, and the trajectory of the disease over the next few decades threatens to overwhelm our ability to treat and care for these patients. The number of individuals with Alzheimer's will increase to an estimated 13 to 16 million, and the costs to Medicare and Medicaid will be more than $800 billion in today's dollars. Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) and Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) also introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
A copy of the legislation can be found HERE.
“Today, more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to triple by mid-century. Alzheimer’s poses tremendous health and economic challenges for our nation,” said Senators Markey and Crapo. “The National Alzheimer’s Accountability Act will help serve as a blueprint for Congress and the public on how to more effectively prioritize federal resources to achieve the national goal of treating and preventing Alzheimer’s by 2025.”
“The Alzheimer’s Association proudly supports the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act and its goal of ensuring Congress hears directly from America’s scientific leadership at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on the resources needed for Alzheimer’s research,” said Robert Egge, Vice President of Public Policy, Alzheimer’s Association. “By authorizing NIH to develop a Professional Judgment Budget, the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act allows Congress to hear directly from the scientists charged with leading our Alzheimer’s research enterprise and fulfilling the goals of the National Alzheimer’s Plan – to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s by 2025. The Alzheimer's Association appreciates Senators Markey and Crapo’s leadership on this important issue.”
A copy of the full endorsement letter from the Alzheimer’s Association can be found HERE.
Then-Rep. Markey co-authored the National Alzheimer's Project Act and currently is the Senate co-chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease. In the House of Representatives, then-Rep. Markey was a leader in the fight to find a cure to Alzheimer's disease. Markey introduced the bipartisan Spending Reductions Through Innovations in Therapies (SPRINT) Act, which would spur innovation in research and drug development for high cost, chronic health conditions such as Alzheimer's. Markey also authored the Health Outcomes, Planning and Education (H.O.P.E.) Act to encourage early Alzheimer's diagnoses and connect caregivers to information and resources. In 2011, Markey and Rep. Smith introduced the Alzheimer's Breakthrough Act, which would require NIH to create a strategic plan to expedite therapeutic outcomes for those with or at risk of Alzheimer's disease and coordinate Alzheimer's research within the Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health and across all Centers and Institutes of the NIH.