Let’s talk about dementia

World Alzheimer’s Day offers a chance to raise awareness, tackle stigma and highlight the urgent need for investing in innovation. The EFPIA Alzheimer’ Disease Platform is playing its part in delivering a brighter today and tomorrow for people with dementia.
The figures are stark: more than 11 million people in Europe are living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia – and these numbers are rising as our population ages. By 2030, 14 million of us will be affected, costing the European economy more than €250bn.
Alzheimer’s is a global problem. An estimated 50 million people are living with dementia today, rising to 152 million by 2050. Two thirds of those affected will be in low and middle-income countries.
World Alzheimer’s Day (21 September) offers a timely reminder of the global need to raise awareness around dementia and to deliver new tools to prevent, detect and treat Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. It is vital that we challenge the stigma and misinformation that often surrounds dementia so that society can prioritise it as a major public health need.
Let’s act – together
The scale of the Alzheimer’s disease challenge is so great that only collective action can solve it. That is why EFPIA member companies have joined forces to launch the EFPIA Alzheimer’s disease Platform. Our shared goal is simple: To ensure a brighter today and tomorrow for people with Alzheimer’s disease. Achieving our simple goal will not be easy, and our best chance of success is to do it together.

The Platform aims to raise understanding of early onset Alzheimer’s disease; to accelerate the time it takes to get new treatments to patients; to advocate for early detection; and to co-create innovative solutions to key challenges in Alzheimer’s disease.
Many of these priorities are outlined in detail in our paper “Taking Action Together to Ensure a Better Today and Tomorrow for People with Alzheimer’s Disease”. 
Research and innovation are at the heart of our contribution to defeating dementia. Industry and academic researchers have invested time, energy and funding in the search for new biomarkers and better therapies. There are 135 clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease in development and new avenues to explore as we search for ways to treat, slow or prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Carrying the Torch of Medical Innovation

EFPIA member companies also play an active role in major collaborative projects funded through the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). Together with academic partners, patients, regulators and health technology specialists we look into all facets of the complex Alzheimer Disease challenge: from understanding the diseases, to prevention strategies. More than 15 collaborative projects include AETIONOMY which explored how neurodegenerative diseases are classified and treated; EMIF which tapped into Europe’s wealth of health data to find promising clues for Alzheimer’s research; EPAD which is using adaptive clinical trial design to deliver better results faster and at lower cost, MOPEAD which tests on line tools to identify cognitive problems, or ROADMAP to define patient relevant outcomes and ways to measure them.
On World Alzheimer’s Day – and every day – we won’t rest until we deliver the innovation needed to meet the dementia challenge.  

Nathalie Moll

Nathalie Moll joined the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) as Director...
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