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Norman Transcript: Cole proposes $300M for Alzheimer’s Research

June 21, 2015
News Stories

Norman Transcript - Staff Reports

The House Labor Health and Human Services (HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Tom Cole recently proposed a $300 million increase for Alzheimer’s research, as requested by Alzheimer’s Association advocates. This is a significant milestone toward reaching the levels deemed necessary by scientists to realize the goal of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease — to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s by 2025.

“We applaud Rep. Cole’s leadership in making Alzheimer’s disease a federal priority,” said Mark Fried, president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association Oklahoma Chapter. “Over 60,000 Oklahomans are living with Alzheimer’s today, and it is clear Rep. Cole understands the need to change the trajectory of this disease. This kind of research investment is critical to bringing us closer to a cure.”

In March, more than 1,000 advocates from all 50 states gathered in the nation’s capital for the Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum and asked their legislators for this increase of $300 million for Alzheimer’s research. 

The following month, Robert Egge, executive vice president of government affairs at the Alzheimer’s Association, testified before the HHS Appropriations Subcommittee, outlining the triple threat Alzheimer’s disease poses:

• More than five million Americans and their 15 million unpaid caregivers are affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

• Already the most expensive disease in the country, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, the cost of Alzheimer’s to the nation will more than quadruple to $1.1 trillion over the next generation, threatening family savings and the future of Medicare.

• Alzheimer’s is the only leading cause of death that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.

Earlier this year, the Alzheimer’s Association released Changing the Trajectory of Alzheimer’s Disease: How a Treatment by 2025 Saves Lives and Dollars, which reported that the U.S. could save $220 billion within the first five years of a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease being introduced.

The report shows that meeting the national Alzheimer’s plan 2025 goal would reduce the number of individuals affected by the disease by 2.5 million within the first five years of a treatment being available.

Online: Norman Transcript