WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-4) wants the federal government to put more focus on research of Alzheimer’s disease and the development of treatments and potential cures.
Smith, the co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Alzheimer’s Task Force, is now sponsoring a comprehensive legislative package to combat the disease. The federal legislation would build on past investments to ensure the federal government remains on track toward its plan to prevent, treat and ultimately find a cure for Alzheimer’s.
Smith was the House co-author of the 2011 law that first created the national plan, which marked a historic commitment by the federal government to tackle the disease.
“Most of us have a family member or friend who is among the 6.5 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s disease,” said Smith. “While much progress has been made to increase federal assistance for patients and caregivers, more needs to be done to combat this devastating disease. The bills we introduced will continue the strong federal support for promising research and programs as we work towards improved treatment and, hopefully, a cure.”
“With the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) set to expire by 2025, the passage of the NAPA Reauthorization Act and the Alzheimer’s Accountability and Investment Act are needed now more than ever,” said Robert Egge, Alzheimer’s Association chief public policy officer and AIM executive director. “These critical pieces of legislation would continue the work of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease to promote rapid research and improve the delivery of clinical care and services for people living with Alzheimer’s and their families.
The Alzheimer’s Accountability and Investment Act would ensure a direct funding mechanism for researchers to effectively treat Alzheimer’s. It expands the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act that was signed into law in 2015 by permanently requiring scientists at the NIH to submit an annual Alzheimer’s research budget proposal directly to Congress, ensuring a direct funding mechanism to combat Alzheimer’s.
Meanwhile, the NAPA Reauthorization Act reauthorizes the National’s Alzheimer Project through 2035 to provide a plan for federal efforts to combat Alzheimer’s and dementia.
It extends the national strategic plan addressing Alzheimer’s that is set to expire in 2025 and include: language to address health disparities among underrepresented populations; language adding a sixth goal to that plan on healthy aging and reducing risk factors for dementia; and the addition of new federal representatives to the Advisory Council including from the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Social Security Administration (SSA), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
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