Alzheimers Cost to Skyrocket GraphicAlzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in America. Over the next 40 years, caring for people with Alzheimer’s will cost our country $20 trillion, with nearly 60 percent of that borne by Medicare. If we had a treatment that delayed onset of Alzheimer’s by just five years, Medicare spending would be reduced on those with the disease by 45 percent in 2050. While Congress provided an additional $100 million for Alzheimer’s research in fiscal year 2014, the chronic underinvestment in Alzheimer’s research persists. For every $100 that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) spends on Alzheimer’s research, Medicare and Medicaid spend $26,500 caring for those with the disease. Congress must continue its commitment to thefight against Alzheimer’s by increasing funding for Alzheimer’s research by $200 million in fiscal year 2015.

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Talking Points:
  • According to an NIA-funded study in the New England Journal of Medicine, Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in America.
  • This year the cost of caring for those with Alzheimer’s disease will be an estimated $214B, with $150B of that amount paid for by Medicare and Medicaid.
  • This annual expense is set to increase rapidly to $1.2T by mid-century.
  • However, a treatment that simply delayed onset of Alzheimer’s by five years would lower Medicare spending on those with the disease by almost half.
  • By making Alzheimer’s a national priority, we can create the same successes that we have been able to achieve in other diseases that have been prioritized by the federal government. Leadership from the federal government has helped lower the number of deaths from other major diseases such as HIV/AIDS, many cancers, heart disease, and stroke.
  • Recognizing the growing Alzheimer’s crisis, Congress unanimously passed the bipartisan National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA), calling for the creation of a National Alzheimer’s Plan.
  • The National Plan has resulted in some notable accomplishments, including NIH creating a blueprint for Alzheimer’s research.
  • However, for the progress this disease requires, scientists need the necessary funds to carry out the blueprint.
  • While Congress provided a much needed addition of $100 million in Alzheimer’s research for fiscal year 2014, a chronic underinvestment in Alzheimer’s research persists.
  • For every $100 that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) spends on Alzheimer’s research, Medicare and Medicaid spend $26,500 caring for those with the disease.
  • Congress must continue its commitment to the fight against Alzheimer’s by increasing funding for Alzheimer’s research by $200 million in fiscal year 2015.
Share Your Experience:

Tell your personal story. Congress continues to be focused on deficit reduction and reducing government spending. If you are
comfortable doing so, please share your experience with the economic pressures created by the disease including
unnecessary hospitalizations, out-of-pocket costs, and complications with other conditions.