September is World Alzheimer's Awareness Month, which aims to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia.

 

Although our understanding of the pathology behind Alzheimer’s disease has increased dramatically in recent years, Alzheimer’s is the only one of the top 10 causes of death that currently cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. Between 1998 and 2017, there were 146 attempts to bring new Alzheimer’s treatments to market, but just four successful approvals. These current medicines merely treat symptoms and not the underlying cause.

 

Americans living with Alzheimer’s, or mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s, could nearly triple from 5.7 million today to 15 million by 2060. Additional data project the cumulative total cost of Alzheimer’s disease between 2017 and 2030 will amount to $7.7 trillion—$3.2 trillion in health care costs and $4.5 trillion in the value of unpaid caregiving.

 

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Protecting Alzheimer's Research

15 million people will live with Alzheimer's by 2060. We're working to change that.

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For decades, biopharmaceutical researchers have worked to understand what causes Alzheimer’s disease and explore potential ways it can be treated. During this time, we’ve made progress in understanding biomarkers, which, along with improvements in technology like PET scans and MRIs, are transforming the process of diagnosis. However, significant obstacles remain, including difficulty enrolling patients in clinical trials, as well as a gap in our knowledge about the way Alzheimer’s disease develops and progresses. A 2018 report found there are 92 medicines in development for the treatment of Alzheimer’s, and the biopharmaceutical industry continues to add to the billions of dollars already invested in the search for desperately needed treatments.

 

As communities continue to grapple with the impact of COVID-19, it’s important to remember the challenge of Alzheimer’s disease has not gone away. In the same way America's biopharmaceutical companies are committed to developing solutions to help diagnose, treat and prevent COVID-19, an army of biopharmaceutical researchers and scientists remain devoted to advancing medicines to treat Alzheimer’s disease. The sense of urgency has not dwindled; the determination to overcome barriers has not lessened.

 

 

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We Are Committed to Act, Treat and Defend

America’s biopharmaceutical companies are coming together to achieve one common goal: ending COVID-19. Our shared heritage of discovery and research allows us to respond to the coronavirus swiftly, with active trials for both treatments and vaccines already underway.

This World Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, we’re thanking all those who have made an impact on advancing new treatments, from biopharmaceutical researchers in the lab to those who have chosen to enroll in a clinical trial, which makes such research possible. Alzheimer’s is one of the most complex diseases, and we won’t stop until we find a way to beat it.