Sens. Markey & Warner Call on Obama Administration to Represent United States at First WHO Global Conference on Dementia
Lawmakers are co-Chairs of the Bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease
Washington (February 13, 2015) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) today called on Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell to attend the upcoming World Health Organization (WHO) First Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia to demonstrate the leadership of the United States on the human and economic threats posed by Alzheimer’s disease. Despite the U.S. legacy of leadership on Alzheimer’s and dementia, American leaders have been absent from previous high-level events discussing the global commitment on the issue of dementia.
“We cannot afford to take a backseat during global discussions, particularly given the enormous impact Alzheimer’s disease will have on our nation’s health and financial well-being if the current trajectory of this disease remains,” write the Senators in the letter to Secretary Burwell. “Your participation will send an important message that the United States will continue to lead and drive the growing global battle against Alzheimer’s disease.”
A copy of the letter to Secretary Burwell can be found HERE.
Alzheimer’s disease is believed to be America’s third leading cause of death behind only heart disease and cancer. The disease costs $214 billion a year, including $150 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid. In 2011, the United States passed the National Alzheimer’s Project Act, which Senator Markey authored in the House of Representatives. The plan established its primary goal as preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s disease by 2025, the first such bold goal by any nation.