Lawmakers are House co-authors of the law requiring development of national plan to treat, cure Alzheimer’s disease
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the first-ever comprehensive National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, the culmination of bipartisan work by Congressmen Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Chris Smith (R-N.J.), co-Chairmen of the Congressional Taskforce on Alzheimer’s, to create of a national plan to address the devastating disease. The plan includes the bold national goal of preventing or treating Alzheimer’s disease by 2025 and represents an historic commitment by the federal government to tackling a disease that cost $140 billion to care for Alzheimer’s patients last year. Reps. Markey and Smith are the House authors of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act, the law which required the creation of a national plan to combat Alzheimer’s disease.
“In 2010, when Rep. Smith and I authored the bipartisan National Alzheimer’s Project Act, it was goal to compel our government to take inventory of its spending towards Alzheimer’s and create a plan to fight the disease that costs so much in lives and dollars,” said Rep. Markey. “Nearly two years later, we escalated our fight against Alzheimer’s disease and raised this issue into the national consciousness with the bold goal of treating Alzheimer’s by 2025. Releasing this historic national plan is a strong first step, but now we need to fund it. We have a framework; now we need the financial sheetrock. I look forward to working with my Congressional colleagues to help pass legislation that will help bring about a world without Alzheimer's disease.”
“It was just 17 months ago that the National Alzheimer’s Project Act unanimously passed the House of Representatives – requiring development of a National Alzheimer’s Plan,” said Rep. Smith. “The release today of that national plan is a great testament to what can be accomplished when members of Congress on both sides of the aisle work together in bipartisanship. Issuance of this plan, developed with nationwide input from families and all types of experts, provides reason for having the first, genuine sense of hope that we will defeat this terrible disease.”
Unless progress is made against this disease, by 2050, the U.S. government will spend $600 billion a year out of Medicare and $200 billion a year in Medicaid on Alzheimer’s alone. In one generation, the Medicare costs of this one disease will be more than America’s entire federal defense budget is now.
In February, Rep. Markey introduced H.R. 3891, 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.
In April 2011, Rep. Markey 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 May 2011, Reps. Markey and Smith (R-N.J.), introduced the Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Act, which would require the National Institutes of Health (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.