Throughout their political careers, Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Patty Murray (D-WA) have been steadfast leaders in the fight to end Alzheimer’s. They recognize the devastating effect this disease has on the more than five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s and their families today and the unique financial threat posed by Alzheimer’s, America's costliest disease. And they have taken action, on a bipartisan basis, to ensure critical research to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s by 2025 will advance.
This is why the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement is supporting their re-election bids.
In their roles as Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively, Senators Blunt and Murray were instrumental in an historic $350 million increase for Alzheimer’s disease research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in December 2015. And in June of this year they once again demonstrated their determination to ensure advancements in medical research for Alzheimer’s disease by approving an additional $400 million in NIH funding for FY17.
In addition to their support to advance medical breakthroughs, both senators have been supportive of legislation that would improve access to critical care and support services for those living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. Indeed, they both support the AIM endorsed Health Outcomes, Planning, and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer's Act which was included in the FY17 Appropriations bill passed through their committee.
Today, Alzheimer’s disease is the only leading cause of death in the U.S. without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression. Yet the leadership demonstrated by Senators Blunt and Murray to increase funding and care and support services has shown those who have Alzheimer’s, as well as their caregivers, and other advocates that we have support in Congress.
At a cost of $236 billion this year, Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the nation. Yet, today it receives only $991 million in NIH research funding. Leading experts have stated that at least $2 billion a year is necessary to meet the first goal of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease - to effectively treat and prevent the disease by 2025.
In April, AIM honored Senators Blunt and Murray with the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement 2016 Humanitarian Award. The award recognizes public officials who have made a significant policy contribution to advancements in research, care and support for people with Alzheimer's disease.
In an effort to further show our support for their leadership in the fight to end Alzheimer’s, AIM has purchased digital advertisements in their home states highlighting each of their contributions to the advancement of a world without Alzheimer’s.
Robert Egge is the Chief Public Policy Officer of the Alzheimer’s Association and the Executive Director of the Alzheimer's Impact Movement.