Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center

NIH to estimate total funding needs for Alzheimer’s research

April 7, 2015

Special research budget will go to President, Congress

beaker containing a dollar sign
NIH's "bypass budget" will estimate the total research costs of treating and preventing Alzheimer's.

NIH is preparing a budget that for the first time will estimate for Congress the costs of reaching the research goals of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease to effectively treat or prevent Alzheimer’s and related dementias by 2025.

Known as a “bypass budget” because of its direct transmission to the President and subsequently to Congress without modification through the normal federal budget process, the purpose of the estimate is to outline funding needs for the most promising research approaches. The NIA, which is leading the effort to develop the bypass budget, expects the document to address funding beginning in fiscal year (FY) 2017.

The requirement to prepare and submit the professional judgment budget, introduced in Congress last year as the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act, was included as part of the FY 2015 federal appropriations legislation passed in December 2014. NIH will submit the bypass budget annually through 2025. Only two other areas of biomedical research have been the subject of this special budget approach: cancer and HIV/AIDS.

“We welcome the opportunity to provide the NIH’s analysis of the funding it will take to support an optimal effort directed at reaching these important research goals,” said NIA Director Dr. Richard J. Hodes.

Alzheimer’s disease research in the United States has benefited from the provision of additional funds over the past several years. In FY 2012, as part of a Presidential initiative, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins redirected $50 million to expand Alzheimer’s research, and in FY 2013 he provided $40 million for this purpose from unallocated funds in the NIH budget. Additional federal appropriations of $100 million in FY 2014 and $25 million in FY 2015 were provided with the expectation that a significant portion of these increases would be directed toward Alzheimer’s research. NIH spending on Alzheimer’s disease research increased 25 percent from FY 2011 to FY 2014.

“We will seek input from multiple sources as we develop the bypass budget,” Dr. Hodes said. “Recent NIH research summits have provided recommendations and milestones that will inform us regarding priority directions, and internal discussions—with NIA staff as well as staff from other NIH Institutes—will be needed to consider the potential costs of these based on program experience, emerging developments in each field, and roadblocks that must be addressed.”

Read more about the NIA budget in Richard Hodes’s blog and an update on the Alzheimer’s disease funding payline in Robin Barr’s blog.

Page last updated: April 13, 2015