Today's guest blog comes from Lilly's Rick Ascroft, Senior Director, Corporate Affairs and PRA Australia, Canada, Europe.
Dementia affects over 44 million people worldwide, and we haven’t begun to count the impact on friends, family and caregivers.
We know that Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, but there are currently no medicines available that can halt or reverse it. However, every day small steps are being taken towards a gaining a better understanding of the disease. 2014 marks the 26th year of Lilly’s research and development in Alzheimer’s, and today we have around 400 scientists working on AD and other neurological conditions in the UK alone. For many of our employees, including Dr Jan Lundberg, our Executive Vice President, Science and Technology, and President, Lilly Research Laboratories (Lilly R&D), our commitment to AD research is very personal. And we believe that our research - alongside that funded by research charities, academia and other companies –will eventually lead to treatments, and even cures, for the disease.
Lilly is dedicated to finding treatments that improve the lives of Alzheimer’s disease patients and their caregivers. Our aim is to make Alzheimer’s disease preventable by 2025. We are committed to the science. We’re committed to finding solutions for patients. But what underpins all of this is the person.
Lilly commissioned valuable research into people’s experiences of living with Alzheimer’s disease to better understand the everyday hurdles and emotional difficulties people face, beginning with noticing symptoms, leading to the diagnostic and treatment processes they experienced. Published as “The Patient Journey”, jointly produced by Lilly and Alzheimer’s Society, in collaboration with the Mental Health Foundation, the report documents the reality of living with Alzheimer’s disease. We believe the findings of this report are too important to keep to ourselves.
We’re also proud to have partnered with Alzheimer’s Disease International to recently launch new educational resources to support patients and family members seeking diagnosis.
We know we can't do this alone. We must continue to work in partnership to find solutions that help make life better for people living with dementia. That’s why we are proud to be part of the UK’s Dementia Consortium. This is just one of our public-private partnerships, all of which will continue to play an important role in advancing medicines to Alzheimer’s patients. Sustained partnership and collaboration across the pharmaceutical industry, academia and research charities is our best chance of making Alzheimer's preventable by 2025, and we're pledging our support of the commitments made at the G7 global dementia legacy event.