WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and a bipartisan group of senators introduced a pair of bills that would cement and build on the important progress that has been made to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease.
The National Alzheimer's Project Act (NAPA) Reauthorization Act would reauthorize NAPA through 2035 and modernize the legislation to reflect strides that have been made to understand the disease, such as including a new focus on promoting healthy aging and reducing risk factors.
The Alzheimer’s Accountability and Investment Act would continue through 2035 a requirement that the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) submit an annual budget to Congress estimating the funding necessary for NIH to fully implement NAPA’s research goals. Only two other areas of biomedical research – cancer and HIV/AIDs – have been the subject of special budget development aimed at speeding discovery.
“More than a decade ago, I cosponsored, and Congress passed, the National Alzheimer's Project Act, which has since played an important role in ensuring Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are a priority at NIH and other federal agencies,” Senator Capito said. “Now, more than ever, as more Americans and their families are living with the effects of Alzheimer’s, we must keep up this momentum, continue to make critical research investments, and fight for all those impacted by this disease. Both of these bipartisan bills work toward our shared goals, and I’m proud to introduce them today with my colleagues.”
Alzheimer’s costs the United States an astonishing $321 billion per year, including $206 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid. Alzheimer’s is projected to claim the minds of 12.7 million seniors and nearly surpass $1 trillion in annual costs by 2050. In 2021, family caregivers provided 16 billion hours of unpaid care for loved ones with dementia. Nearly half of baby boomers reaching age 85 will either be afflicted with Alzheimer’s or caring for someone who has it.
In 2011, then-U.S. Representative Capito cosponsored NAPA. NAPA convened a panel of experts, who created a coordinated strategic national plan to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025. The law is set to expire soon and must be reauthorized to ensure that research investments remain coordinated and their impact is maximized.
Along with Senator Capito, the NAPA Reauthorization Act and the Alzheimer’s Accountability and Investment Act are authored by Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.).
“Thanks to the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA), we’ve made tremendous progress in the fight against Alzheimer’s. The passage of the NAPA Reauthorization Act and the Alzheimer’s Accountability and Investment Act is the next important step to continue the work of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease and ensure that the nation continues to prioritize addressing Alzheimer’s and all other dementia,” Robert Egge, Alzheimer's Association chief public policy officer and AIM executive director, said. “On behalf of the Alzheimer’s Association, I would like to extend my deepest thanks to the sponsors for introducing this important bipartisan legislation to help improve the lives of those impacted by Alzheimer’s throughout the country. The Alzheimer’s Association looks forward to working with our tireless advocates and these congressional champions to advance this bipartisan legislation.”
“The passage of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act more than a decade ago was a turning point in our nation’s fight against Alzheimer’s, fundamentally changing the trajectory of disease research for the better,” George Vradenburg, chair and co-founder of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, said. “UsAgainstAlzheimer’s is thankful to Sen. Collins for her leadership on behalf of patients living with Alzheimer’s and their loved ones. We look forward to working with her and other members of Congress to reauthorize NAPA and continue driving toward an end to Alzheimer’s disease.”
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