“France has not invested enough to prepare for the threat posed by Alzheimer’s disease”

“France has not invested enough to prepare for the threat posed by Alzheimer’s disease”
Written by madishthestylebar

VSLike almost all developed countries in the world, France is aging, a demographic fact that will lead to new public health challenges as important as the Covid-19 pandemic. Today, more than 20% of the population is aged 65 and over. By 2050, this figure will rise to almost 30%.

The aging of France goes hand in hand with a continuous increase in diseases that mainly affect the elderly. The most devastating is certainly Alzheimer’s disease, which robs sufferers of their memory, their independence and their right to age with dignity.

The major question is: is France taking the necessary measures to prepare for the looming “Alzheimer’s pandemic”?

Unfortunately, the answer is a disappointing “no”. The previous government did not invest enough to prepare for the threat that Alzheimer’s disease poses to the current health care system. The country has even taken several steps backwards. And, in many ways, the crisis is already here.

Today, more than 1.2 million people in France live with Alzheimer’s disease or a related pathology; a figure that will inevitably increase with the aging of the population (Dementia in Europe Yearbook 2019). This devastating disease even became the fourth leading cause of death in France in 2018 (The Lancet, 2019), before the Covid-19 pandemic.

To help stakeholders assess France’s ability to meet this challenge, the Global Coalition on Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) have published the Anticipation and Innovation Index in the field of Alzheimer’s disease 2021 (Alzheimer’s Innovation Readiness Index 2021). It examines the progress made with regard to several indicators, in particular the implementation of public policies around aging, the country’s commitment in this area, efforts for early detection and diagnosis, access to care, etc.

Overall, France currently ranks in the middle of the pack among European countries, and there are worrying signs that the country may be falling behind.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Alzheimer’s: ten warning signs of the disease

Lack of political will

More importantly, French public decision-makers have reneged on their previous funding commitments to Alzheimer’s disease, highlighting a lack of political will to deal with this slowly evolving “pandemic”.

Funding for the fight against Alzheimer’s disease and related pathologies has fallen considerably compared to the 1.6 billion euros of the Sarkozy years. Under the Hollande presidency, investments fell to 470 million euros and also targeted other diseases.

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