More than 28 million baby boomers are expected to come down with Alzheimer's as they age, which will send Medicare spending on the dementia disorder skyrocketing in the next 25 years, according to an analysis from the Alzheimer's Association released Monday.
The association said that by 2020, the projected Medicare costs of caring for baby boomers with Alzheimer's will be nearly $12 billion and about 2 percent of total Medicare spending. By 2040, the cost will jump to $328 billion and consume nearly 25 percent of Medicare spending.
The association, which is holding its annual meeting in Washington, D.C., this week, is pushing for more funding on Alzheimer's research.
There is little research on the causes of Alzheimer's, according to a recent report from the Food and Drug Administration. Unlike other diseases such as cancer or hepatitis C, Alzheimer's lacks biomarkers that help determine whether a patient will respond to a certain treatment.
Without biomarkers, which can be parts of tissue, drug companies have made costly mistakes by pursuing ineffective treatments, the FDA report said.
Congress sought to boost medical research funding in various spending bills for fiscal 2016 and in the 21st Century Cures Act, which just passed the House. That bill would provide more funding for the National Institutes of Health, and intends to make it easier for drugs to get approved by the FDA.