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A Manhattan Project for Alzheimer's Disease

November 20, 2013
Earlier this month, at the Alzheimer’s Disease Summit in New York City, BIO's President & CEO Jim Greenwood highlighted the need for our nation to think bigger about how we approach Alzheimer’s Disease.

Greenwood called for a “Manhattan Project” to rally the country around addressing this growing health challenge.  He also noted that addressing Alzheimer’s Disease is the type of issue that could bring together elected officials on both sides of the aisle.

As part of the Summit, Greenwood participated on a panel, which included leading experts from the public and private sectors, and focused on the creation of new forms of Public Private Partnerships that could rapidly advance research into improved AD diagnosis and treatment.

The Alzheimer’s Disease Summit convened leading industry, academic and government stakeholders to discuss preventing and treating Alzheimer's by 2025. The Summit focused on coordinating  governmental efforts, building research resources, reengineering current drug development and evaluation systems, and identifying innovative technologies and financing models.

Today, more than five million Americans are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. And that number is projected to grow every year to reach a total of 15 million people by 2050.

This year, the direct costs of caring for those with Alzheimer's will total an estimated $203 billion, including $142 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid. Total payments for health care, long-term care and hospice for people with Alzheimer's and other dementias are projected to increase to $1.2 trillion in 2050 (in current dollars).

November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month. It is an opportunity, as President Obama said in his official proclamation, to “stand with everyone confronting the painful reality of an Alzheimer's diagnosis; lend our support to the families who care for them; and renew our commitment to delaying, preventing, and ultimately curing this disease.”

Together, we can make that happen.