Today's post is written by Thom Thorp, Head Government Affairs and Communications, Europe and Canada & Senior Director Corporate Affairs and Market Access, Lilly UK and Northern European Hub.
As September draws to a close and with it World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, it’s perhaps an appropriate time to take stock and reflect on Europe’s readiness to meet the challenge of a disease that is set to affect 9 million people by 2030.
As this month’s activities have demonstrated, the Alzheimer’s community is working hard to raise awareness about the disease, although still more needs to be done. Governments too have been stepping up to the plate. Now, thirteen countries in Europe have established national plans which set out guidance and recommendations on how to deal with the social and health consequences of the disease, as well as provide services for patients, carers and families. Key elements of these plans include, early diagnosis, improvement of treatment, design of dementia-friendly communities, post-diagnostic support for those living with the disease, support for caregivers, initiatives to counter stigma associated with dementia and improving awareness amongst healthcare professionals about tools to detect the disease and the evolving availability of treatments for Alzheimer’s.
Our infographic below provides more information on what’s being done and we what still need to do to make European healthcare systems ready for Alzheimer’s.
No one group can tackle the Alzheimer’s challenge on their own. That’s why working across sectors and across disciplines to improve Alzheimer’s readiness in Europe is key. Thanks to Marc Wortmann of Alzheimer’s Disease International, Jean Georges of Alzheimer Europe, Member of European Parliament Sirpa Pietikainen and Mercè Boada at Fundació ACE for sharing their World Alzheimer’s Month insights with LillyPadEU.