The U.S. Senate has voted to allocate more funds to Alzheimer’s research. In an 85–7 vote on August 23, the lawmakers stipulated a 2019 fiscal year budget that, if signed into law, would include $2.34 billion for AD research, topping 2018’s AD research budget by $425 million. The bill also includes a $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health, increasing that agency’s funding to $39.1 billion. The research budget was a small part of a massive, $857 billion appropriations bill, which laid out spending for the departments of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.
- Senate voted to allocate $2.3 billion to AD research.
- Tops last year’s AD research budget by $425 million.
- Total NIH budget boosted by $2 billion.
The $2.34 billion proposal for AD research still pales in comparison to the estimated $277 billion the country spends every year on dementia care, Sen. Roy Blunt told the Senate ahead of the vote. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, this price tag includes $186 billion in Medicare and Medicaid payments. Without a cure, government spending is predicted to rise to $1.1 trillion by 2050, Blunt added.
Bruce Lamb of the University of Indiana School of Medicine in Indianapolis noted that the budget proposal exceeds the $2 billion in annual funding proposed in 2011, when the National Alzheimer’s Project Act was first passed and the National Plan was developed. “Given some of the recent disappointments in the AD clinical trials, we likely will need to further increase investments to help speed the process of identifying new drug targets, to improve the drug-discovery pipeline, to redesign clinical trials that target specific patient populations, and to discover lifestyle interventions that slow or prevent dementia,” Lamb told Alzforum.
Ilya Bezprozvanny of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas called new budget fantastic news. “Hopefully it will enable testing of multiple new ideas about the causes of AD and help in developing new treatment options in addition to amyloid-targeting drugs, which are currently being tested in clinical trials,” Bezprozvanny said.—Jessica Shugart
No Available References
No Available Further Reading