ADDF New York Times Letter To the Editor. Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s Costs: New Drugs

Re “Dementia Study Predicts a Surge in Cost and Cases” (front page, April 4):

The projected costs of dementia care are staggering, but this has been known for decades. It’s time we paid more attention to one of the fastest-growing chronic diseases in our country.

The only way to prevent dementia from bankrupting the system is to invest in drug discovery. There are no treatments to prevent or slow Alzheimer’s, the most common dementia. And it’s unlikely that any one drug will be the silver bullet, so we need to pursue many pathways.

Drug discovery for Alzheimer’s is especially difficult. More than other fields of endeavor, what we need is innovation, risk and persistence. We’ve made progress — many drugs are already in clinical trials — but much more needs to be done.

We need a continued and increasing effort to accelerate drug discovery, including the use of collaborative financing models. Through research, we can conquer Alzheimer’s and curb its crippling financial burden on our society.

LEONARD A. LAUDER
HOWARD FILLIT
New York, April 5, 2013

The writers are, respectively, co-chairman of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, and executive director and chief science officer of the foundation.

To read the letter on the New York Times website, click here.