Public Policy Context: Funding and Policy Initiatives

  • Robert H. Blank


This chapter outlines the policy making process and the policy context of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and summarizes the broad range of issues surrounding it. It examines why AD promises to be a policy challenge well into the future as its prevalence and economic costs escalate. It details the economic and social costs of AD and illustrates how they threaten to bankrupt health care systems unless we develop adequate anticipatory policies to deal with the issues they raise. The chapter also examines the research funding for AD compared to other diseases and summarizes recent policy initiatives and commission and association reports to deal with the challenges it raises.


Research funding Economic and social costs of AD Health care Policy making 


  1. Alzheimer’s Association (2016a) “Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures.” Alzheimer’s and Dementia 12 (4).
  2. Alzheimer’s Association (2016b) Alzheimer’s Disease State Plans.
  3. Alzheimer’s Association (2018) “Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures.” Alzheimer’s and Dementia 14 (3): 367–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Alzheimer’s Disease International (2016) World Alzheimer Report 2016. Improving Healthcare for People Living with Dementia; Coverage, Quality and Costs Now and in the Future. London: Alzheimer’s Disease International.Google Scholar
  5. Alzheimer’s News (2018) “Congress prioritizes Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding in 2018 budget.”
  6. Bynum, J.P.W. (2014) “The long reach of Alzheimer’s disease: Patients, practice, and policy.” Health Affairs 33 (4): 534–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. CHKS (2012) “An economic analysis of the excess costs for acute care for patients with dementia.” CHKS, 2012.
  8. Geldmacher D.S., N.Y. Kirson, H.G. Birnbaum, S. Eapen et al. (2013) “Pre-diagnosis excess acute care costs in Alzheimer’s patients among a U.S. Medicaid population.” Applied Health Economics and Health Policy 11 (4): 407–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hoffman, D. (2015) “Looking at the future of Alzheimer’s disease policy.” Health Affairs Health Policy Lab.
  10. Hurd, M.D., P. Martorell, A. Delavande, K.J. Mullen and K.M. Langa (2013) “Monetary costs of dementia in the United States.” New England Journal of Medicine 368 (14): 1326–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kelley, A.S., K. McGarry, R. Gorges and J.S. Skinner (2015) “The burden of health care costs in the last 5 years of life.” Annals of Internal Medicine 163 (10): 729–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Knapton, S. (2015) “Dementia research gets 13 times less funding than cancer, figures show.”
  13. Luengo-Fernandez, R., J. Leal and A. Gray (2015) “UK research spend in 2008 and 2012: Comparing stroke, cancer, coronary heart disease and dementia.” BMJ Open 2015; 5: e006648. Scholar
  14. Mordor Intelligence (2016) “Global Alzheimer’s diagnosis and drugs market—Growth, trends and forecast (2016–2021).”
  15. Ramnarace, C. (2010) “The high costs of caring for Alzheimer’s patients.”
  16. Reid, T.R. (2015) “Where’s the war on Alzheimer’s?” AARP Bulletin (Jan/Feb).
  17. Robbins, N.M. and J.L. Bernat (2017) “Should dementia be accepted as a disability to help restore hope during cognitive decline?” AMA Journal of Ethics 19 (7): 649–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Sabat, S.R. (2008) “A bio-psycho-social approach to dementia.” In M. Downs and B. Bowers, eds., Excellence in Dementia Care: Research into Practice. Maidenhead: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Suehs, B.T., C.D. Davis, J. Alvir, D. van Amerongen et al. (2013) “The clinical and economic burden of newly diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease in a medicare advantage population.” American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias 28 (4): 384–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Whitehouse, P.J. (2014) “The end of Alzheimer’s disease—From biochemical pharmacology to ecopsychosociology: A personal perspective.” Biochemical Pharmacology 88 (4): 677–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Whitehouse, P.J. and D. George (2008) The Myth of Alzheimer’s. New York: St. Martin’s Press.Google Scholar
  22. Winblad, B., P. Amouyel, S. Andrieu, C. Ballard et al. (2016) “Defeating Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias: A priority for European science and society.” Lancet Neurology 15: 455–532.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Wolff, J. L., J. Feder and R. Schulz (2016) “Supporting family caregivers of older Americans.” New England Journal of Medicine 375 (26): 2513–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. WHO (2015) “Governments commit to advancements in dementia research and care.”
  25. WHO (2017) “The global dementia observatory.”
  26. Yang, Z. and A. Levey (2015) “Gender differences: A lifetime analysis of the economic burden of Alzheimer’s disease.” Women’s Health Issues 25 (5): 436–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert H. Blank
    • 1
  1. 1.SarasotaUSA

Personalised recommendations