Durbin Highlights the Impact of NIH Funding on the Progress of Alzheimer's Research

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – At a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today highlighted the positive, lasting impact that sustained National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding could have on Alzheimer’s research.  In testimony today, NIH Director, Dr. Francis Collins, discussed how recent breakthroughs, from the BRAIN initiative to Precision Medicine, stem from national investments in basic science research.  Video of Durbin’s remarks and Dr. Collins’ testimony can be accessed on Durbin’s YouTube page.


“More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, with a new person being diagnosed every 67 seconds.  This year the direct cost of caring for people with the disease will be $226 billion, with Medicare paying half of that total.  By 2050 medical costs associated with Alzheimer’s disease will rise to $1.2 trillion,” said Durbin.  “History has shown us time and again that medical progress requires years of incremental research and sustained investments. We have the opportunity to make investments now that will lead to breakthroughs that could both alleviate human suffering and reduce the cost of the government.”


NIH research leading to a medical breakthrough that delays the onset of Alzheimer’s by just five years could cut those annual costs by 40% and save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars a year. Earlier this year, Durbin introduced The American Cures Act, which would set a steady growth rate in federal appropriations for biomedical research conducted at NIH, CDC, DHP, and the Veterans Medical & Prosthetics Research Program. Each year, the bill would increase funding for each agency and program at a rate of GDP-indexed inflation plus 5 percent. This steady, long-term investment would allow the agencies to plan and manage strategic growth while maximizing efficiencies. More information on the bill is available HERE.