ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION ADVOCATES CELEBRATE
ALZHEIMER’S LEGISLATIVE VICTORY WITH
AN EYE TO THE PRESIDENT’S 2016 BUDGET
Alzheimer’s Accountability Act Incorporated into Funding Bill Signed into Law
– Alzheimer’s Association Statement –
Washington, D.C., December 17, 2014 – As the largest Alzheimer’s advocacy organization in the
world, the Alzheimer’s Association, and its relentless advocates, applaud Congress for creating a formal
process to ensure that scientific judgment will guide them in future Alzheimer’s research funding
decisions. This critical provision comes from the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act (H.R. 4351/S. 2192),
which was fully incorporated within the fiscal year 2015 funding bill signed into law by the President.
Because of this action, Congress will be equipped with the best information to determine necessary
Alzheimer’s research funding levels in each year leading up to 2025 to achieve the primary goal of the
National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, creating a means to prevent and effectively treat
Alzheimer’s disease.
“In setting funding levels, Congress has told us that they want to hear directly from the nation’s top
scientists. That’s exactly what the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act does by connecting scientists with
appropriators,” said Harry Johns, president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association. “The Alzheimer’s
Association urged the introduction and passage of this Act so that Congress understands what science will
bring us to the day when there will be survivors of Alzheimer’s, just as there now are for the other major
diseases in our country.”
Introduced in April, the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act calls for the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
to submit a Professional Judgment Budget for Alzheimer’s disease research each year until 2025 to
achieve annual research milestones established under the National Alzheimer’s Plan. It will reflect the
state of Alzheimer’s knowledge and the required investments in research identified by leading scientists
to achieve the plan’s 2025 objective. With the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act, Congress has created a
mechanism that will utilize rigorous scientific judgment, rather than shifting political interests and
unforeseen events, to guide Congressional funding allocations to achieve the 2025 goal.
Alzheimer’s Association grassroots advocates and staff held thousands of congressional meetings to
secure support for the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act since the bill’s introduction. While the
Alzheimer’s Association and its sister organization, the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement, were the only
two organizations to endorse and work to advance the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act, the legislation
received strong, bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate.
In addition to the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act, the funding bill included a $25 million increase for
Alzheimer’s research, which comes on the heels of an unprecedented $122 million increase for
Alzheimer’s research, education, outreach and caregiver support in fiscal year 2014. Together, these
increases bring annual federal funding for Alzheimer’s research to $591 million. However, scientists have
stated that accomplishing the goal of the National Alzheimer’s Plan will require a commitment of at least $2 billion a year.
“According to leading experts, we must dramatically increase research funding to accomplish the primary
goal of the National Alzheimer’s Plan to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s by 2025. The
Alzheimer’s Accountability Act will ensure that Congress hears directly from scientists what they will
need to successfully achieve the federal government’s goal,” said Johns. “We now eagerly look forward
to the President’s fiscal year 2016 budget with the tools in place to implement urgently needed,
significant increases in Alzheimer’s funding to finally stop the human and economic devastation it
causes.”
There are currently more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease at a cost to the nation
of $214 billion a year, according to the Alzheimer’s Association 2014 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and
Figures report. Though Alzheimer’s is not normal aging, because advancing age is the greatest risk factor
and Americans are living longer than ever before, those numbers are projected to soar to as many as 16
million by 2050, costing the nation $20 trillion over the next 40 years.
For more information on Alzheimer’s disease and available resources, visit the Alzheimer’s Association
at alz.org.
Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s 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