Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Alzheimer's is science issue, not a finance issue

The Telegraph reports on the conclusion of Dr. Peter Piot, an early voice on AIDS, declaring that dementia stemming from Alzheimer's could be the "next global health time bomb."  The 36 million sufferers in the world today will double by 2020.

In the US, six million people have Alzheimer's, at a cost to the US economy of $172 billion.  And both of those numbers will rise rapidly, to a cumulative AD cost of $20 trillion by 2050.

This is not a finance issue.  This is a science issue.    Either we come up with an effective treatment for AD/dementia or we face a future of enormous costs and/or drastic measures to reduce those costs.   And we do mean "drastic," in a way that could unhinge the idea of a safety net and a decent society.

The solution to AIDS was better treatment, which in many cases is the equivalent of a cure.  That medical-science action has saved the US economy hundreds of billions, not to mention the compassionate benefits.  


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