$1.4 Billion for Alzheimer’s Research Supported by US Senate Appropriations Bill

Ana de Barros, PhD avatar

by Ana de Barros, PhD |

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Senate Appropriations

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee  has forwarded a draft bill that could deliver nearly $1.4 billion in federal funds to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research in 2017.

In all health concerns related to the proposed bi-partisan bill, lawmakers recommend $34 billion – a $2 billion increase over fiscal year 2016 – to the National Institute of Health for research in precision medicine, Alzheimer’s disease, mapping of the human brain, and other diseases, according to a June 7 appropriations committee press release.

The recommendation could land the largest-ever increase for Alzheimer’s disease research funding at the NIH for the second consecutive year. The initiative, led in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies by Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), trails a $350 million year-over-year bump and reinforces the leaders’ commitments to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

The bill’s proposed funding aligns with overwhelming demands from Alzheimer’s disease advocacy groups nationwide.

UsAgainstAlzheimer’s (UsA2) pushed especially hard throughout 2016 for lawmakers to increase funding.

In January, UsA2 sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget and then carried out a sign-on letter to the appropriation committee in support advocacy initiatives.  The letter was signed by 30 Senators urging the appropriations sub-committee toward the additional funding.

UsA2 and other groups have feverishly supported the momentum for increased funding through a series of advocacy and educational efforts pointed toward to lawmakers in Washington. D.C.  The organization applauds the recommendations and bi-partisan efforts to recognize the urgency and defeat Alzheimer’s disease.

In a press release just prior to the senate appropriation committee’s approval, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Co-Founder and Chairman George Vradenburg referred to Alzheimer’s disease as a “cancer-size problem” and he applauded the work of the appropriations subcommittee.

“We are grateful for the leadership of Chairman Blunt and Senator Murray and the actions of the subcommittee, recognizing the unprecedented cost and health impact of Alzheimer’s on Americans today and in the coming years. . . We will continue to forge ahead to realize our goal of committing at least 1 percent of the costs of caring for Alzheimer’s to research – now $2.2 billion for research due to the costs to the nation of $226 billion in care. Alzheimer’s is a cancer-size problem and deserves a cancer-size solution,” Vradenburg said.