If you have watched a loved one's mind slip away because of the ravaging effects of Alzheimer's disease, then you, like most Americans, are hoping that a cure will come soon so that others do not have to go through the same painful experience in the future. But as hard as researchers are currently working on a cure, treatments are still most patients' best option. These treatments cost money though. And according to the Alzheimer's Association, it's a pretty large bill for the United States.
According to a recent report released by the Alzheimer's Association, if researchers could develop a new drug treatment for Alzheimer's disease by the year 2025 that could "delay the onset of dementia for five years," then the treatment could save the government -- and families across the nation -- $935 billion over the course of 10 years.
It's a huge chunk of savings to be sure, but how accurate is the number? As was pointed out by an article in Forbes this month, this estimate isn't very accurate. It may even give Americans a false impression of the actual cost of Alzheimer's treatments overall. That's because, the report doesn't take into consideration the cost of this new hypothetical treatment. As the article explains, even though it'd be nearly impossible to estimate the exact cost of a new drug treatment, what we do know is that the "treatment will surely not be free, as the report implies."
Readers of our blog know that some treatments for degenerative diseases can put a financial burden on an individual. If their disease or illness qualifies for Social Security disability though, they may consider these benefits even more helpful than before because they could offset medical costs. The same may be true with a new Alzheimer's treatment that carries an unknown price tag and uncertain promises down the road. In the meantime, we will just have to wait and see what the future will bring for Alzheimer's patients.