Our very own Jeff Morby, Chairman and co-founder of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, was a featured panelist at the Milken Global Conference in L.A. this week where he led the charge, calling for a national strategy for a cure.
The presentation titled, “Alzheimer’s Disease: Meeting the Challenges of an Aging Society,” also featured fellow industry heavyweights Harry Johns, President and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association and Greg Simon, Senior Vice President for Worldwide Policy, Pfizer. Discussion focused on building a climate for a cure, from public awareness to government to private investment. All agreed upon one critical step that must be taken -- the creation of a national strategy for a cure by 2020. Click here to view the video.
Simon kicked off the discussion noting that to discuss the process of finding a cure is depressing; it is expensive and probably years ahead of us. But the point driven home by all three gentlemen is that we will get there a lot faster if we build a national consensus around the importance of doing so now.
On the same “aspirational” theory as putting a man on the moon, stopping polio or any of the other campaigns that were once looked upon as naively ambitious, Morby argued that a national drive to overcome Alzheimer’s is necessary to muster the resources to do the job in time to head off the “silver tsunami” that will overwhelm our healthcare resources. Almost half of people over 85 have the disease, and in 2010 the Medicare and Medicaid expenses alone were $186 billion. That number will only go higher exponentially the longer we are unable to control the onset of the disease.
So hooray for the leaders of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, the Alzheimer’s Association and a senior representative of a Pharma for the courage to be bold and begin the drum beat for a national strategy to end Alzheimer’s disease!