WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), along with a bipartisan group of their Senate colleagues, 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.
An estimated 6.5 million Americans age 65 and older are currently living with Alzheimer's, creating costs of $321 billion per year, including $206 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid. If this trajectory continues, Alzheimer’s is projected to claim the minds of 12.7 million Americans 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 West Virginia alone, it is expected that 44,000 individuals will be living with Alzheimer’s by 2025, and over 830 individuals will lose their life to the disease each year.
“More than a decade ago, I cosponsored the National Alzheimer's Project Act, and since becoming law, it has played a major role in ensuring Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are a priority at NIH and other federal agencies,” Senator Capito said. “More than ever before, Americans and their families are living with the effects of Alzheimer’s, something that I have personally experienced. We must build on 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 reintroduce them with my colleagues.”
The NAPA Reauthorization Act—led by Senators Capito, Collins, Mark Warner (D-Va.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)—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—authored by Senators Capito, Collins, Markey, Warner, Moran, Menendez, Murkowski, and Stabenow—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 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.
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