Our manifesto outlined key actions that we believe need to take place for the UK to take the lead in defeating dementia.
The power to defeat dementia – Manifesto 2015-2020
We are committed to funding the highest quality research to improve the lives of people with dementia and ultimately defeat the condition.
Our Defeat Dementia campaign to raise £100 million over five years will make a significant impact, however we will not defeat dementia on our own. Organisations and governments across the globe need to come together and share our vision of world free from the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia.
Our manifesto, launched in 2015, outlined five key actions that we believe need to take place in the UK over the 2015-2020 parliament if we are to take the lead in defeating dementia. Since its publication, headway has been made in several of these areas:
- Increase research funding.
In 2015, the government announced a plan to commit £300m to dementia research by 2020. Government funding has increased, but investment in dementia research still lags behind other serious conditions, and we need to step up the pace.
- Increase research capacity.
Our Keeping Pace report, published in March 2017, showed that the number of UK dementia researchers had doubled over six years following increased investment. We are making progress, and it’s important for this momentum to be maintained.
- Remove regulatory barriers.
We called for the government to explore ways to streamline the regulatory process for research in order to encourage investment and speed up approval for clinical trials. We have been encouraged to see regulatory authorities taking part in discussions to explore this further.
- Develop better treatments faster.
Since the manifesto was published, our Drug Discovery Alliance has begun work on a number of promising drug development projects which have already attracted interest from potential partners. Globally, we have seen an increasing willingness to share data from clinical trials, helping scientists across the world to learn from this research and accelerate the development of new treatments.
- Improve the lives of people living with dementia.
Following our call for greater emphasis on helping people reduce the risk of dementia, we have seen moves from government to increase public awareness of the measures people can take to lower their risk, supported by charities like Alzheimer’s Research UK. Work on the government’s Dementia Challenge 2020 has also placed an emphasis on breaking down the stigma that surrounds dementia and raising awareness and public understanding about the condition.
Recent years have seen a renewed political focus on dementia, and we have built the foundations to accelerate progress towards new treatments. Following the 2017 General Election, it will be crucial for this focus to be maintained if we are to transform the lives of people with dementia.