The growing cost of care for people with dementia could be as grave of a world health threat as AIDS or tuberculosis, and U.S. health research budget planners should remember that when allocating funding.
Witnesses representing people with Alzheimer’s, drug companies, care providers and large employers made that case earlier this week at a hearing on dementia organized by the House Foreign Affairs global health subcommittee.
The committee organized the hearing in response to a recent summit meeting of the G-8 — a group for the world’s richest countries — on dementia.
George Vradenburg, chairman of USAgainstAlzheimer’s, a business coalition that includes the big drug companies and Bank of America, said the United States should double spending on Alzheimer’s research to $1 billion, from $500 million today, and commit to spending about 1 percent of the total cost of Alzheimer’s on dementia-related biomedical research.
Today, the United States spends only about 0.3 percent of that amount on dementia research and development (R&D) efforts, Vradenburg said.