The importance of supporting biomedical research and innovation and the development of new therapies cannot be overstated. Today, we face increasing competition around the globe to overtake U.S. world leadership in biomedical innovation. Even in this time of budgetary constraint, it is crucial that we not allow this to happen. We cannot afford to lose the next generation of discoveries that address one of the nation’s leading cost drivers – chronic and debilitating disease.
In 2014, the direct costs to American society of caring for those with Alzheimer's will total an estimated $214 billion, including $150 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid – the direct cost is projected to reach 1.2 trillion by 2050.1 By 2030, almost one out of every five Americans – some 72 million people – will be 65 years or older.2 Clearly, chronic disease increasingly will drive health care costs in the future. Already, almost 84 cents of every health care dollar is spent is to care for individuals suffering from a chronic disease.3 It is therefore a national imperative that we find new solutions. This can only be accomplished if we as a nation establish and defend policies that protect intellectual property, promote the effective transfer of new technology, empower regulatory agencies to keep pace with science, encourage the development and adoption of modern approaches to drug development, and continue to invest in scientific research.