Ongoing investment into dementia research vital

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Thursday 11 January 2018

Dementia Australia is dismayed that Pfizer, the world’s third largest drug maker, has announced this week that it will end its research to discover new medications for Alzheimer’s disease.

Dementia Australia CEO, Maree McCabe, said that research into dementia and Alzheimer’s disease was a key element in addressing the impact that dementia has on our communities.

“The only way we will develop any effective medical treatments, or even develop a way to prevent or halt dementia, is through both public and private investment in research,” she said.

“Every three seconds someone in the world develops dementia and it is more important than ever that both governments and private organisations invest in dementia research.”

Dementia is the second leading cause of death of Australians. In 2016, dementia became the leading cause of death among Australian women, surpassing heart disease, which had been the leading cause of death for both males and females since the early twentieth century.

There are more than 425,000 Australians living with dementia and this is set to increase to 1.1 million people by 2056.

Ms McCabe said investment in research was vital to find a cure, especially with the prevalence of dementia in our community.

“Without a medical breakthrough the number of people with dementia in Australia is expected to increase,” she said.

“It is disheartening for people impacted by dementia to hear that Pfizer has made this decision. It is essential that there is ongoing investment into drug-based treatments for dementia, alongside other innovative forms of dementia research – the potential benefits of success will significantly impact the hundreds of thousands of Australians living with dementia now and in the future.”


Dementia Australia is the national peak body and charity for people, of all ages, living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers. It provides advocacy, support services, education and information. An estimated 436,000 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach almost 1.1 million by 2058. Dementia Australia is the new voice of Alzheimer’s Australia. Dementia Australia’s services are supported by the Australian Government.

National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500

Interpreter service available

(The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government Initiative)

Dementia is a National Health Priority Area

Media contacts: Anna Townend 0435 532 214 [email protected] or Monika Boogs 0407 019430 [email protected]

When talking or writing about dementia please refer to Dementia Language Guidelines.