HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease at the second day of the National Alzheimer's Research Summit Tuesday. The 69-page plan breaks down how the government intends to pool resources to identify treatment approaches and preventative measures for the degenerative disease that affects approximately 5.2 million Americans. Symptoms typically surface when adults are in their mid-sixties, but can strike earlier.
The roadmap comes as drugmakers Eli Lilly and Pfizer await Phase III data on AD hopefuls solanezumab and bapineuzumab, respectively. Data read-outs are expected on the drugs this year.
To spur additional approaches, the federal plan seeks to attack the disease through a combination of bureaucratic alignment and innovation. On the alignment side, the FDA, NIH, HHS, AHRQ, and VA identified 1,393 projects that could help experts in their quest for treatments and prevention. It also covers the issue of turf and accountability, by setting aside dates to assess progress, identify data gaps and establish curricula and guidelines.
The education and awareness components address the patient experience and perspective. Under the plan HHS will increase its attention on geriatric training programs and will establish a broad education and training strategy that addresses physicians, nurses and professional caregivers.
Twenty-four government agencies are contributing to the plan, which has 51 discrete goals for this year and additional milestones that extend into 2015. It will be updated annually, per the NAPA legislation that created the roadmap.