The House of Representatives today passed the 21st Century CURES Act (H.R. 6) aimed at accelerating the pace of medical breakthroughs and cures. The legislation will take a comprehensive look at discovery, development and delivery to determine what steps should be taken to leverage past scientific developments and ensure the U.S. remains the leader in medical innovation.
As the leader in Alzheimer's care, support and advocacy, the Alzheimer's Association applauds Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) and members of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce for their leadership on the CURES Act. Alzheimer's, the most expensive disease in the nation according to a NIH-funded study in the New England Journal of Medicine, is addressed in the CURES Act in several key sections, including Patient and Caregiver Engagement in Drug Development, Data Sharing and Clinical Trial Modernization.
"With the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease set to triple in just over a generation, the need for medical innovation could not be more urgent," said Robert Egge, executive vice president of Government Affairs at the Alzheimer's Association. "The Alzheimer's Association supports bipartisan efforts such as the 21st Century CURES Act to strategically address public health threats like Alzheimer's disease so that we can realize greater, faster results for families nationwide."
The country's first-ever National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease was released in 2012 at the mandate of the National Alzheimer's Project Act. The first goal of the national Alzheimer's plan is to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer's disease by 2025. To achieve this goal, Congress must equip researchers to meet the milestones set by the scientific community in the years leading up to 2025.
Alzheimer's disease is a triple threat unlike any other disease with soaring prevalence, enormous cost and lack of treatment. If nothing is done to change the trajectory of Alzheimer's, as many as 16 million Americans will have Alzheimer's disease by 2050 and annual costs will exceed $1.1 trillion, creating an enormous strain on families, the healthcare system and the federal budget. As the baby boomers age, near-term costs for caring for those with Alzheimer's will balloon with Medicare and Medicaid covering more than two-thirds of the costs for care.
Earlier this year, the Association released Changing the Trajectory of Alzheimer's Disease: How a Treatment by 2025 Saves Lives and Dollars, which calculated that a treatment introduced in 2025 that delays the onset of Alzheimer's by five years would reduce the number of individuals affected by the disease by 2.5 million people and save the nation $220 billion within the first five years of a treatment being available.
For more information about Alzheimer's disease, visit alz.org.
The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit alz.org.