Washington, D.C., March 20, 2023 – The Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM), today honored Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) for their significant policy contributions to the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. The senators were each named the 2023 AIM Humanitarian of the Year at the National Alzheimer’s Dinner, during the AIM Advocacy Forum.
“We are entering a new era for Alzheimer’s with expanded possibilities for treatments, the ability to drive risk reduction and early detection, and the potential to modernize quality care and support,” said Robert Egge, chief public policy officer of the Alzheimer’s Association and AIM executive director. “We would not have arrived at this critical juncture without the relentless leadership of Senators Collins and Klobuchar who consistently champion policies to improve the quality of life for the millions of Americans impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementia. The steadfast dedication of Senators Collins and Klobuchar to push for Medicare access to FDA-approved Alzheimer’s treatments and support historic research funding has been an invaluable contribution to people living with dementia and their caregivers.”
Last month, Senator Collins led, and Senator Klobuchar signed, a bipartisan letter urging CMS to expand access to treatments for those living with Alzheimer’s. Noting the progressive nature of the disease Sens. Collins and Klobuchar asked CMS to take immediate steps to ensure access to FDA-approved treatments.
Sens. Collins and Klobuchar have spearheaded bipartisan legislation to address the needs of the more than 6 million Americans currently living with Alzheimer’s — a number that is expected to nearly double by 2050. In 2021, the senators introduced a resolution declaring that the goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025 is an urgent national priority, and they reintroduced the Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act to expand training and support services for families and caregivers of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia.
As a founder and co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease and Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Sen. Collins has championed legislation including the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA.) Alzheimer’s research funding has risen by seven-fold since the passage of NAPA in 2011. Set to expire in 2025, Sen. Collins introduced the NAPA Reauthorization Act which would reauthorize this important law through 2035 with an additional focus on promoting healthy aging and risk reduction. Sen. Collins also co-authored the Alzheimer’s Accountability and Investment Act, which would ensure continued robust federal funding of Alzheimer’s and dementia research. Special budget development aimed at speeding discovery in biomedical research is unusual and vital.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2023 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts & Figures Report, direct costs to American society of caring for those with Alzheimer’s are projected to cost an estimated $345 billion, including $222 billion in Medicare and Medicaid payments. And, families of those living with the disease will spend $87 billion on out-of-pocket costs to care for their loved ones this year.
The Alzheimer’s Association continues to lead the way, advancing research funding and improved care for people living with Alzheimer’s disease, and encourages all elected officials to follow in the steps of Sens. Collins and Klobuchar by prioritizing legislation and research funding critical to the fight against Alzheimer’s.