DearColleague.us

Letter

From: The Honorable Steve Cohen
Sent By: Lauren.Citron@mail.house.gov
Bill: H.R. 5073
Date: 4/29/2016

Dear Colleague,

We are writing to invite you to cosponsor the bipartisan Ensuring Useful Research Expenditures is Key for Alzheimer’s (“EUREKA”) Act (H.R. 5073), to create a prize for finding treatments to prevent, alleviate, and/or cure Alzheimer’s disease. This is a bipartisan House companion to a bipartisan Senate bill introduced previously by Senators Roger Wicker, Kelly Ayotte, John Barrasso, Shelley Capito, Susan Collins, Angus King, and Brian Schatz. (S. 2067).

Alzheimer’s disease is a tragic disease affecting millions of Americans, and it has reached crisis proportions. There is no effective treatment, no means of prevention, and no method for slowing the progression of the disease.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, five million Americans were living with Alzheimer’s in 2013, and those numbers have swelled since then. Because of the large numbers of patients and the length of time living with the disease, the Alzheimer’s Association has called it “the most expensive disease in America.” They estimate that the U.S. will spend $236 billion in 2016 on patients who have Alzheimer’s and related dementias.

While funding Alzheimer’s research directly by the National Institutes of Health is important to combating the disease, it is not the only way that Congress can act to stimulate discovery and development of new treatments. The creation of prizes to be awarded for solving difficult problems is a new strategy for US agencies to tap into the limitless ingenuity and creativity of the American people. Prize competitions are presently being run by more than 80 agencies across federal government. A list of agency challenges and the prizes awarded are available at challenge.gov. The attractiveness of this strategy is that agencies pay only for performance. The prize is given only when success has been demonstrated.

The EUREKA Act builds upon these efforts to U.S. government seeks innovative solutions from the public, and bringing the best ideas and talent together to solve mission-centric problems. If enacted, The EUREKA Act will authorize up to $10 million a year for fiscal years 2017 through 2021 for the NIH and other agencies to create prizes for new prevention measures, treatments, and cures for Alzheimer’s disease.

If you have any questions about the EUREKA Act or would like to cosponsor, please contact: Randy Wadkins (Randy.Wadkins@mail.house.gov  or 5-3265) in Congressman Steve Cohen’s office, or Caroline DeBerry (Caroline.Deberry@mail.house.gov or 5-5435) in Congressman Duncan’s office.

Sincerely,

Congressman Steve Cohen                                          Congressman John Duncan, Jr.

Member of Congress                                                   Member of Congress