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SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah
WASHINGTON, June 24, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The House Appropriations Committee passed language today in a bipartisan vote that would support a framework for a global Alzheimer's fund to combat the growing threat of the disease worldwide. Congressman Fattah (D-PA), a Senior Member of the Committee, pushed for the language to be included in the FY 2015 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill. Together with Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), Fattah introduced related legislation earlier this year that called on the United States to lead an international effort towards treating and curing Alzheimer's and other dementias.
In remarks to the Committee during today's markup, Congressman Fattah thanked his colleagues for recognizing the rising economic threat of Alzheimer's and including language requiring the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to consult with the Appropriations Committee on a framework to engage international partners in a comprehensive Alzheimer's strategy. Fattah called the language an important step ahead in the United States' leadership on the global response to this and other dementias.
"[Alzheimer's] obviously is having a crippling effect here in our own country, and among millions of our families, but worldwide it is a devastating disease and threatens many of the world's economies." Congressman Fattah said during the markup. "This is a major step forward and I want to thank the Chairwoman and Ranking Member for including my language in this regard."
The language echoes HRes. 489, introduced by Fattah and Smith in April. That resolution would create a Global Alzheimer's Fund, modeled after the successful Global Fund to Fight AIDS, which brought together the world's leading economies in a coordinated effort to finance the most effective anti-AIDS strategies, treatments, and initiatives.
Today, Alzheimer's disease ranks as the most expensive health condition in the country-one that continues to grow. According to the Alzheimer's Association, the direct costs of caring for Alzheimer's patients will total an estimated $214 billion in 2014, including $150 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid. In 2050, it will rise to an estimated $1.2 trillion. More than 44 million individuals worldwide suffer from the disease, a figure expected to nearly triple by 2050 if its current trajectory does not change.
The bill language is the most recent effort from Congressman Fattah to expand and increase the United States' advocacy for understanding and treating brain diseases. Fattah is architect of the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative (FNI), an innovative, non-incremental policy initiative designed to make major progress in understanding the human brain. Created in 2011, FNI has focused on fostering cooperation and collaboration, both within the United States and abroad, to expand the scope of support, tools, and funding dedicated to fighting brain diseases including stroke, autism, Alzheimer's, and other dementias.
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