October 2013

Senator Jerry Moran Pens Alzheimer’s Editorial 

On September 27, Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas released a statement affirming his commitment to, “…defeating one of the greatest threats to the health of Americans and the financial well-being of our country,” and compared the development of a treatment or cure for Alzheimer’s Disease as, “…a goal no more ambitious, and just as imperative,” as President Kennedy’s call for putting a man on the moon.

The Senator cites a number of harrowing statistics including the estimated $203 billion to be spent in 2013 caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, and the RAND Corporation’s projection of costs doubling over the next 30 years, surpassing that of heart disease and cancer. Senator Moran goes on to make the case for the high return on investment that research funding into Alzheimer’s and dementia could bring. He specifically cites an estimate that puts the value of delaying the diseases onset by five years at an annual savings of $362 billion by 2050.

Senator Moran, Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee in charge of funding the National Institute of Health asserted that he will prioritize funding for Alzheimer’s research. The Senator has overseen an $84 million increase in funding for the National Institute on Aging in FY 2014, and helped partially fund the first year of the presidential initiative to map the human brain.

To view the editorial, click here.

FDA Backlogged After Shutdown

With the government shutdown over, all employees at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) headed back to work with a twelve day backlog of non-user fee funded duties. The issue of making up for lost time is compounded, as the Alliance for Stronger FDA points out in a recent release, by the spending restraints still imposed on federal agencies under Congress’s continuing budget resolution (CR). The CR, which funds the government through January 15, maintains agency spending levels at the post-sequester levels, while exempting user fees to be used for their intended purpose of drug and device review expedition.

The post-sequester spending levels remain at $2.386 billion a year, a reduction of $120 million from previous years. While these levels and the shutdown backlog will continue to strain the Agency, officials have assured the public that many of the multiple negotiated User Fee Act goals set forth in the most recent reauthorizations will continue to be met.

To read more from Alliance for Stronger FDA, click here.

PhRMA Addresses Alzheimer’s Therapy Development

On October 23, PhRMA, in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, hosted a conference focused on the primary hurdles to treatment development for Alzheimer’s disease titled, “Alzheimer’s: The Puzzle, The Partners, The Path Forward.” The daylong conference focused on innovations to move medical science closer to realizing new prevention and treatment strategies for Alzheimer’s disease.

The conference was widely attended by public and private sector scientists, patients, policymakers, and other stakeholders. Major topics of discussion included the fostering of pre-competitive collaborative partnerships, impediments to clinical trials for pre-symptomatic Alzheimer’s patients, and new paths forward for science and policy. PhRMA will be releasing an official report based on the conference discussion.

To view conference materials, click here.

New York Academy of Science to Host Alzheimer’s Summit

On November 6-7, the New York Academy of Science, in partnership with the Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s disease and the National Institute on Aging, will be holding an Alzheimer’s disease summit titled, “The Path to 2025.” The summit seeks to foster discussion between industry, academic, and government stakeholders on how best to achieve the national goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025.

Topics will cover the coordination of private and governmental efforts to build research resources; reengineering our current drug development and evaluation systems; and identifying innovative technologies and financing models for research. The meeting will include a number of panels on topics ranging from improved biomarkers and drug development and models of public-private partnership.

The meeting will take place at the New York Academy of Science offices in New York City.

For more information on the summit, click here.