February 21, 2013
$14.4 Billion Economic Burden of Parkinson's Disease Takes Toll on Families
-- $8.1 billion in medical expenses and $6.3 billion in indirect costs attributed to Parkinson’s disease --
-- Two new studies published in Movement Disorders detail economic burden and
financial implications of slowing disease progression --
This statement is prepared on behalf of the American Parkinson Disease Association, the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the National Parkinson Foundation, the Parkinson Alliance, the Parkinson’s Action Network, and the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. Together, these organizations represent the Parkinson’s disease community in the United States.
Parkinson's disease is a chronic, progressive neurological disease for which there is no treatment or therapy to slow or stop the progression of the disease. Medications and devices address only the symptoms. Parkinson’s is the second most common neurological condition after Alzheimer’s disease.
The two studies addressed in this statement are: "The Current and Projected Economic Burden of Parkinson's Disease in the United States " and "An Economic Model of Parkinson’s Disease: Implications for Slowing Progression in the United States ," both of which were recently published in the journal Movement Disorders and show huge economic burden on families living with Parkinson’s disease.
The following statement may be attributed to Amy Comstock Rick, CEO, Parkinson’s Action Network:
"Both studies highlight the enormous economic implications of this devastating disease, and make it abundantly clear that increased research funding is a wise investment on the front end to help significantly lower or eliminate costs on the back end. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Parkinson’s disease research funding for FY 2011 was just $151 million – that’s only 1.05% of $14.4 billion, and is clearly an investment that needs to grow.
"Because nearly half (48%) of medical expenses evaluated in 'The Current and Projected Economic Burden of Parkinson's Disease in the United States' are Medicare- and Medicaid-related, smart investment in medical research could significantly lower reliance on Medicare and Medicaid as a safety net for people with Parkinson's. Even slowing the progression of Parkinson's is shown in one of the studies to have potentially a significant impact on families living with this devastating disease.
"By investing in biomedical research both at the federal level and in the private sector, and creating results-driven public-private partnerships, the scientific community can develop more innovative therapies toward better treatments and, one day, a cure for Parkinson's. In addition to research funding and strategic incentives to promote collaboration and knowledge sharing among academic and industry research groups, we need strong federal, state, and local policies and programs in place that improve the quality of life for people living with Parkinson's and the impact the disease has on their families.
"The authors of ‘The Current and Projected Economic Burden of Parkinson's Disease in the United States' acknowledge their findings are conservative estimates due to limits in available data, and we agree that, in reality, the prevalence and economic burden numbers are even higher and will grow exponentially over the next few decades. The silver tsunami of aging baby boomers will bring not just a dramatic increase in Parkinson's diagnoses, but also significantly higher cost burdens to families that are already stretched too thin.
"Funding for Parkinson’s disease and all biomedical research must be considered a priority in ongoing federal budget discussions, and cannot be cut in any way, shape, or form."
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About the Parkinson's Action Network
The Parkinson's Action Network (PAN) is the unified voice of the Parkinson’s community advocating for better treatments and a cure. In partnership with other Parkinson’s organizations and its powerful grassroots network, PAN educates the public and government leaders on better policies for research and an improved quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s. PAN works in Washington, D.C. on behalf of the national Parkinson’s disease nonprofit organizations, including the American Parkinson Disease Association , the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s , The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research,  the National Parkinson Foundation , The Parkinson Alliance/Parkinson’s Unity Walk , and the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation .
Parkinson's Action Network
202.638.4101 x113 (office)