CODEY TO INTRODUCE RESOLUTION CALLING ON CONGRESS TO INCREASE FUNDING ON ALZHEIMER’S RESEARCH

Senate President and Acting Governor Richard J. Codey, D-Essex, speaks at the bill signing ceremony for the FY 2006 Budget.

 TRENTON – Senator Richard J. Codey will introduce on Thursday a resolution calling on the federal government to double the funding for Alzheimer’s research in fiscal year 2016 and to develop a plan for fiscal years 2017 through 2020 to meet the target identified by the Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services which calls for $2 billion each year in funding for research to reach the goal of effective treatment by 2025.

“If we are to ever have a fighting chance against Alzheimer’s and find effective treatment to slow its progression, we must first invest in strong research efforts that will get us there,” said Senator Codey (D-Essex and Morris). “I witnessed first-hand the devastating effects of the disease as it seized my father’s life. Investing in strong and sustained research could spare families in the future from the painful experience that my family endured.”

It is estimated that 5.2 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementia. At the current pace, the number of individuals with the disease is expected to reach 16 million by 2050 in the United States and over 115 million globally.

The National Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (National Plan) has set the ambitious goal of an effective treatment by 2025. The National Plan was derived through the work of 15 federal agencies and departments and leading scientists in the field. The required research funding to obtain this goal is $2 billion per year.

“The current funding of just over half a billion dollars is woefully inadequate, especially with the rate at which the disease is progressing,” said Senator Codey. “Anyone who has cared for a loved-one or a friend with Alzheimer’s and has witnessed the slow and dreadful decline it causes would agree that this is a war worth fighting.”

Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and the only disease among the top ten causes of death without an effective means of prevention, treatment, or cure. The National Institutes of Health annually spends about $6 billion on cancer research, $3 billion on HIV/AIDS research, and $2 billion on cardiovascular disease research.

A 2013 RAND Corporation study commissioned by the National Institute on Aging found that Alzheimer’s is the costliest disease in the United States, surpassing cancer and heart disease.

“This is a disease that costs over $200 billion of direct care, more than half of which are costs to the Medicare and Medicaid programs, placing an enormous financial strain on families, health care, and state and federal budgets,” said the Senator. “It is also very taxing on the emotional and physical well-being of caregivers.”

Annual costs of caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s are projected to increase from just over $200 billion to $1.2 trillion by 2050.

The resolution will be introduced on Thursday.