What is the National Alzheimer’s Project Act?
The National Alzheimer’s Project Act (Public Law 111-375), passed unanimously by Congress in December 2010 and signed into law by President Barack Obama in January 2011, required the creation of a national strategic plan to address the rapidly escalating Alzheimer’s disease crisis and the coordination of Alzheimer’s disease efforts across the federal government.
This national strategic framework was expected to include outcome-driven objectives, recommendations, implementation steps and accountability in the fight to overcome Alzheimer’s. In May 2012 this framework, known as the National Alzheimer’s Plan, was released.
What does the law require?
- An annually updated national plan submitted to Congress on how to overcome Alzheimer’s.
- Annual recommendations for priority actions to both improve health outcomes for individuals with Alzheimer’s and lower costs to families and government programs.
- The annual evaluation of all federally funded efforts in Alzheimer’s research, care and services – along with their outcomes.
- The creation of an Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services.
What will the Advisory Council on Research, Care, and Services do?
The Advisory Council will coordinate federal agencies conducting Alzheimer’s-related care, services and research. It will also allow participation in the evaluation and strategic planning process by patient advocates, health care providers, state health departments, Alzheimer’s researchers and health associations.
Participation in the Advisory Council includes the following:
- Administration on Aging
- Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- Food and Drug Administration
- Indian Health Service
- National Institutes of Health
- National Science Foundation
- The Surgeon General
Non-Federal Representation (2 each)
- Alzheimer’s Caregivers
- Alzheimer’s Patient Advocates
- Health Care Providers
- Researchers with Alzheimer’s Experience
- State Health Departments
- Voluntary Health Associations
Why is NAPA important?
- For too many individuals with Alzheimer’s and their families, the system has failed them, and today we are unnecessarily losing the battle against this devastating disease. The government must make a meaningful commitment to overcome Alzheimer’s.
- Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and is the only cause of death among the top 10 in America without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression.
- By making Alzheimer’s a national priority, we have the potential to create the same success that has been demonstrated in the fights against other diseases. Leadership from the federal government has helped lower the number of deaths from other major diseases such as HIV/AIDS, influenza and pneumonia, and stroke.
- NAPA will allow Congress to assess whether the nation is meeting the challenges of this disease for families, communities and the economy. Through its annual review process, NAPA will, for the first time, enable Congress and the American people to answer this simple question: Did we make satisfactory progress this past year in the fight against Alzheimer’s?
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