WASHINGTON, Sept. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) announced today the recipients of the first annual Research and Hope Awards. This year's award honors outstanding achievements in academia, the biopharmaceutical research sector, as well as the patient and caregiving communities to help advance medical progress and patient care for Alzheimer's disease.
"Too often, the hard work and unwavering commitment by individuals who dedicate their lives to improving patient care go unrecognized. The Research and Hope Award honors those who rightly deserve credit for all of the sacrifices they have made to advance research and patient care in the fight against Alzheimer's disease," said PhRMA President and CEO John J. Castellani. "Despite the tremendous hurdles, the recipients of the Award have shown us that progress is not only possible, it is happening every day. Their achievements give hope to all of us, especially to patients and their families."
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, affecting one in eight older Americans. Current projections show that by 2050, one American will develop the disease every 33 seconds, costing the U.S. health care system $1.1 trillion annually. During that time, Alzheimer's related Medicare spending alone will increase nearly 600 percent. These projections could change dramatically if a treatment were discovered to help delay the onset of Alzheimer's by five years. Such a treatment could help save Medicare and Medicaid $140 billion annually in 2030, and could save the U.S. health care system $447 billion annually by 2050, according to the Alzheimer's Association.
"On behalf of PhRMA and our member companies, we salute these award recipients for their heroic work to advance medical research and improve patient care," said John C. Lechleiter, PhD, c