November 23, 2019
More than £1.6 billion will be poured into research over the next decade to find a cure for dementia under a Conservative majority government.
The landmark announcement, the largest boost to dementia research ever in the UK, will double current funding levels, setting Britain’s finest scientists to work on a ‘Dementia Moonshot’.
In addition, a new £500 million fund will build on the success of the Cancer Drugs Fund to give patients quicker access to the most cutting-edge medicines for cancer and other diseases.
The scale of investment into a cure for dementia – an additional £83 million a year – reflects both the scale of the challenge that the disorder poses to the National Health Service, the cost to the economy and the terrible impact it has on individuals and families across the country. The money will be spent on increasing the number of clinical research academics and researchers in innovative techniques such as advanced therapeutics and neurotechnologies.
Hailing the success of the Cancer Drugs Fund, which has given patients faster access to the latest medicines and treatments that currently struggle to be adopted by the NHS, the Prime Minister has laid out how its successor the Innovative Medicines Fund will be bigger and better. The new fund has increased funding and its scope is extended to more diseases.
The UK already has a world-leading approach to access to medicines and treatments, and through the existing NICE processes we have already brought life-saving drugs like Orkambi (a cystic fibrosis treatment) and Spinraza (a spinal muscular atrophy treatment) to patients. But sometimes it can take too long for the most innovative medicines to be adopted.
The number of people who suffer from dementia in the UK currently stands at 850,000 and is set to rise to more than a million by the middle of the next decade, before doubling in the next 30 years. Meanwhile, care costs are due to triple from £37.4 billion to 94.1 billion by 2040.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Dementia can have a devastating impact on families and affects millions across the UK. The impact on health and wellbeing, the pain felt by loved ones and the stress and anxiety of enduring this disease blights too many lives.
“It is one of the great medical challenges of our time and this is our plan to tackle it: a record injection of cash that unleashes the brilliant British science community that brought the world penicillin, IVF and Proton Beam Therapy for cancer.
“It is a plan that gets right to the heart of the choice voters face on the 12th December. Vote for the Conservatives and we can get Brexit done, unlock our potential and focus on making people’s lives better. Or vote Jeremy Corbyn for more Brexit delay and the chaos of two referendums continuing to clog our political system and stopping our great country from getting anything done.”
Commenting, Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, said:
“Corbyn’s Pension Tax will see ten million savers facing a huge bill forcing them to delay their retirement for almost three and a half years.
“This is just one of the ways a Corbyn government would hammer hardworking people on top of his plans to hike up taxes by £2,400 a year, as well as the cost of his plan for unlimited immigration and the chaos of 2020 being dominated by two more referendums – one on Brexit and another on Scottish independence.
“Only Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party can get Brexit done with a deal, get parliament working again and turbocharge our economy to unleash Britain’s potential.”