August 2009

Bill Introduced to Create an Office of the National Alzheimer’s Project

Senators Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Mel Martinez (R-FL) recently introduced S. 1555, a bill to create an Office of the National Alzheimer’s Project.  This office, located within White House, would coordinate all research and clinical care initiatives of the multiple federal agencies with interests in Alzheimer’s disease.  The creation of this office was a central recommendation of the Alzheimer’s Study Group’s (ASG) National Strategic Plan released in March.  That plan was developed with input from ACT-AD, many of its members. Having one government office focused on Alzheimer’s disease will help to advance the profile of the disease nationally, and place a greater emphasis on accelerating the discovery of a cure for Alzheimer’s.  Streamlining care delivery for those with Alzheimer’s disease will also be a top priority for the office.  The legislation has support from many in the Alzheimer’s community and several key members of the Senate.

To read more about the legislation, click here.

Senate Passes bill for Fiscal Year 2010 Appropriations for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Prior to the August recess, the Senate passed its fiscal year 2010 Agriculture and FDA appropriations bill.  The bill calls for an additional $295 million in funding for FDA, an increase of 15 percent.  The funding level is a mirror image of what was passed by the House of Representatives.  The House and Senate bills are expected to be easily reconciled in terms of FDA funding, and the bill should be signed by the President prior to the start of the new fiscal year on October 1st.  The $295 million increase is certainly welcome, but in the coming year, the FDA will see new mandates dictated by the need for better food and medical device safety that may complicate how the funding will be utilized.  We hope that as FDA’s leadership is challegened to carry out these new responsibilities, programs that support the review of new and innovative therapies for diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, are not sacrificed.