Global Coalition on Aging  

Press Release: 04/26/17

First-Ever Dementia Innovation Readiness Index Identifies Opportunities to Accelerate Solutions and Collaboration in Dementia Treatment, Prevention, and Care Across G7 Countries

KYOTO (April 26, 2017) – Today, the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) and Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) launched the Dementia Innovation Readiness Index, a first-ever comprehensive evaluation of innovation in dementia treatment, prevention, and care across G7 countries. 

“Since the last new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease entered the market more than a decade ago, the prevalence of dementia has skyrocketed and the global population of older adults has grown rapidly,” said Marc Wortmann, Executive Director of ADI. “Alzheimer’s and other dementias require immediate and sustained attention in the areas of care, cure, prevention, and societal inclusion, and our Index aims to identify opportunities and build momentum towards innovative approaches to these objectives. We hope it will trigger governments and policy makers to identify best practices and learn from each other.”

The Index examines the current landscape in which actions to combat dementia are occurring in terms of the enablers of and barriers to innovation. By doing so across the G7 countries, the Index draws out best practices and identifies areas needing improvement. The full report, available at www.globalcoalitiononaging.com and www.alz.co.uk, details key findings and recommendations as well as rankings for the G7 countries across 10 key categories.

“Alzheimer’s and other dementias will become the financial – as well as the health – nightmare of our generation if we continue with status quo,” said Michael W. Hodin, CEO of GCOA.  “Immediate and sustained action is needed.  Regulators must step up to define meaningful endpoints and encourage early detection and diagnosis and recruitment into clinical trials. Political and institutional leaders must champion the issue to give it the attention it deserves. Governments must ensure that businesses are allowed, encouraged, and incentivized to drive innovation. The solutions won’t be achieved overnight, but the time to commit to innovation is now.”

The Index’s main findings include:

  • Coordinated and continuous leadership from government leaders and institutions of influence is a driving factor for success in advancing innovation in dementia.
  • While funding for research is on the rise, funding for dementia must be commensurate with the impact of the disease, including funding models for care of people with dementia.
  • A critical need for innovation can be found in the need for care providers at all levels – from general practitioners, neurologists and other specialists to both formal and informal caregivers – to enter the field of aging and geriatrics to address the growing demand.
  • Earlier detection and diagnosis of dementia and subsequent recruitment of people diagnosed with the disease into clinical trials will go a long way toward understanding the progression of the disease from its early stages and finding a cure.
  • People with dementia deserve choice in the type and level of care they receive along the care continuum, and governments should encourage more options to ensure the highest level of care possible. 
  • Public-private, cross-disciplinary, and cross-geographical collaboration will help drive the exchange of best practices and expedite innovation for dementia treatment, prevention, and care.

“The Index is a valuable tool for policy makers, scientists, academics, advocates and business alike because it presents a comprehensive look at countries’ strengths and weaknesses, but more importantly creates a platform for sharing and collaboration on which to advance innovation,” said Jeff Huber, President and CEO of Home Instead Senior Care, a leading provider of home care globally and a member of GCOA. “Solving for Alzheimer’s and dementia will require bold new approaches, many of which are identified in the Index.”

The Index’s country assessments reveal that the UK, Canada, and Germany respectively top the list for innovation readiness, pointing out that strong and sustained national leadership, a focused and coordinated effort to detection and diagnosis, new approaches to research and access to innovative treatments, sustainable payment systems, and commitment to public-private partnerships are all driving forces behind innovation readiness.

“Tackling the global scourge of dementia requires us to move past conventional thinking, which has yet to lead to any measurable breakthroughs,” said Pr. Yves Joanette, PhD, Chair of the World Dementia Council. “The analysis and direction provided by the Dementia Innovation Readiness Index will help all G7 countries, and could be of great support for other global leaders as well, to better prepare for and react to the global challenge of dementia.”

The Index was informed by input from interviews and surveys of more than 40 global key opinion leaders and subject matter experts including scientists, advocates, policy makers, researchers, business leaders, and people with dementia, representing thousands of stakeholders in the fight against dementia, as well as research gathered from global authorities on Alzheimer’s disease, other dementias, and aging. 

It will be launched today at the 32nd International Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International in Kyoto, Japan.

To read the executive summary, click here.

To read the full report, click here.

To learn more, visit www.globalcoalitiononaging.com or www.alz.co.uk.

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