Global Coalition on Aging  

Press Release: 07/17/17

GCOA Calls for Leaders at Alzheimer’s Association International Conference to Pursue Ongoing Innovation in Dementia Treatment, Prevention and Care

Dementia Innovation Readiness Index identifies opportunities to accelerate key areas of innovation, including regulations.

LONDON (17 July 2017) – As the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London focuses on advancing science to eradicate the disease, the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) calls on leaders in Alzheimer’s and dementia policy, science and practice to pursue innovation to advance dementia treatment, prevention and care. The Dementia Innovation Readiness Index, researched, analyzed and authored by GCOA and Alzheimer’s Disease International, is a first-ever comprehensive evaluation of innovation in dementia treatment, prevention and care across G7 countries.

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, as well as research gathered from global authorities on Alzheimer’s disease, other dementias and aging.  This group of contributors, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD), represents thousands of stakeholders in the fight against dementia.

“Our Index serves as a guide for national leaders, challenging them to foster research and regulatory environments that invite innovation, from nationwide efforts to promote early and accurate detection and diagnoses of dementia so that urgently needed clinical research can move forward, to policy environments that encourage quality care through a strong caregiving workforce,” said Michael W. Hodin, PhD, CEO of GCOA.  “Further, there is an urgent need for clear regulatory guidance, establishing that future treatments can be developed and brought to market using a singular end-point to demonstrate efficacy.”

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.

The Index’s calls for action in three main areas:

Treatment
National leaders must take action to ensure the best research and regulatory environments are fostered to provide the incentives and reduce the barriers to accelerating the drug discovery pipeline.

  • Regulatory bodies should address the perceived requirement for co-primary endpoints of function and cognition in Alzheimer’s disease. Most other diseases are only required to demonstrate effect on a single primary endpoint, and experts urge this should be the case for Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias.
  • Earlier detection and diagnosis are essential for understanding the progression of dementia and innovation for treatments.

Prevention
With a growing body of evidence on potential actions to reduce the risk of dementia (including healthier lifestyle choices around diet, exercise, and smoking cessation), national and local leaders and the health community at large should proactively promote the connection between healthy lifestyles and dementia prevention and drive adoption of these behaviors.

  • Dementia should be regularly included in public health surveillance at a national level.
  • Reducing the stigma of living with dementia, as well as promoting opportunities to participate in clinical research, should be high priority activities for public health agencies.

Care

  • Care for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias represents roughly half of all elder caregiving needs globally.  In the absence of a disease-modifying treatment that can halt the progression of dementia, governments must enable hospitable environments for innovative care pathways, which can extend independence, dignity and quality of life for people with dementia.
  • Increased investments in innovations for dementia care will help ensure high-quality care and more choice in where and how care is provided and paid for.
  • Innovative care models, such as home care, will require labor, tax and regulatory conditions that help increase the amount of quality dementia care provided.
  • There is a dire need to grow the workforce of care researchers, public health workers, and elder caregivers to capitalize on innovation.

To read the executive summary, click here.

To read the full report, click here.
 

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