Collins, Klobuchar recommend increased funding for Alzheimer's research
The letter was signed by senators from both parties and states all over the nation.
"Virtually every family in the U.S. has been touched by Alzheimer’s," Collins said in a recent editorial. "Combatting this terrible disease requires a unified national effort that transcends politics."
Presently, more than $200 billion is spent in the U.S. alone each year for Alzheimer's patient care. Collins said four percent of that amount is spent on researching the disease.
"In our letter, we note that the spending bill passed by Congress late last year takes a major step forward by providing a $350 million increase for Alzheimer’s disease research funding," she said. "That was the largest increase for Alzheimer’s research funding in history, bringing the total amount available for Alzheimer’s disease research to $936 million -- a more than 50 percent increase."
Collins said research has shown that if more funding is not put toward Alzheimer's research, the number of Americans living with the disease could more than triple by 2050.
"By then, what is already our nation’s costliest disease is projected to cost our country more than $1 trillion each year," Collins said. "Investments in research for other diseases have yielded tremendous results: patients have access to new treatments, and death rates for some diseases are decreasing. Yet, at the same time, mortality due to Alzheimer’s is escalating dramatically."
That said, however, some of the Alzheimer's research appears promising.
"The research community is poised to make important advances through clinical trials and investigating new therapeutic targets, but adequate funding is critical to advance this research," Collins said.
Organizations in this story
U.S. Senator Susan Collins 68 Sewall Street Augusta, ME - 04330