As Population of Alzheimer’s Patients Increases, So Does Cost
According to an article from CNBC, the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to triple by 2050 due to the fact that the world is aging and the percentage of older people in the global population is growing. By 2050, the U.S. Government anticipates that caring for population of Alzheimer’s patients will cost $1 trillion.
The Alzheimer’s Association reports that there are some theories as to what might cause Alzheimer’s, including obesity, vascular diseases, and diabetes, but ultimately the disease’s cause remains a mystery. Alzheimer’s Association expects that if a cure/treatment is not found, 1 in 85 people to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s by 2050, which would technically make the disease an epidemic. Pharmaceutical companies have spent large amounts of money to research the cause and possible treatments for Alzheimer’s, but in the past 10 years no new drugs have been released and all clinical trials have turned up disappointing results.
According to Dr. Marc Gordon, chief of neurology at Zucker Hillside Hospital in New York City, "We need to develop therapies to prevent the disease. Right now, there are no medications to alter the natural history of [Alzheimer’s disease]." Despite the setbacks big pharmaceutical companies have experienced in recent years, they still intend to fund Alzheimer’s research.
The cost does not only affect pharmaceutical companies and the U.S. Government, it impacts the families caring for Alzheimer’s patients who are forced to take time off work and spend upwards of $77,000 a year for care. As the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s increases in the next 40 years so too will the cost of treating it.
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