Alzheimer’s Research UK welcomes new Government plans to make the UK a world leader in delivering cutting-edge clinical research, but says more must be done to ensure this vision is translated in dementia research which, due to historic underinvestment, is playing catch up when compared to other conditions.
The Department of Health and Social Care has published the Phase Two Implementation Plan for Saving and Improving Lives: The Future of UK Clinical Research Delivery.
Building on this new UK-wide plan – which aims to boost research into all diseases – the charity is specifically calling on Government to convene a Dementia Medicines Taskforce as part of the forthcoming 10 Year Dementia Plan, to act as the necessary catalyst to develop new dementia treatments.
David Thomas, Head of Policy at ARUK, said:
“There are currently no treatments available in the UK that slow or stop the diseases that cause dementia. So the actions outlined in the Phase Two Implementation Plan are very encouraging, and will be vital to make real progress in finding new dementia treatments that will give people longer with their memories, with their independence, and with their loved ones.
“There are several ways this Plan could boost dementia research. In particular, the focus on integrating research more closely into the NHS to boost trial recruitment is particularly relevant, given just 1% of people who could take part in dementia clinical trials do so.
“Looking beyond today’s announcement, the Government’s forthcoming 10 Year Dementia Plan provides a unique opportunity to translate this important thinking into reality, and unlock the UK’s untapped potential as a world leader in dementia research. A central element of the Dementia Plan must be the creation a Dementia Medicines Taskforce, which will help fast-track the development and delivery of much-needed new medicines for diseases like Alzheimer’s.
“In 2019, the Government pledged to double funding for dementia research in a ‘Dementia Moonshot’ but it has so far not delivered on its promise. The Health Secretary recently indicated his desire to boost investment, so we need to see clear plans for urgently making good on this commitment in order to deliver life-changing treatments for people with dementia.”