Demand Big Pharma Continue Alzheimer's Research!

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Sponsor: The Alzheimer's Site

Don’t let pharmaceutical companies give up on the search for an Alzheimer's cure.


Sign this petition and tell Big Pharma not to abandon the Alzheimer's research we desperately need.

Alzheimer's disease is an epidemic in the United States. It is currently the sixth-leading cause of death, and one in three seniors will die with the disease. More than 5 million Americans suffer from it, and as many as 16 million are expected to have it by 2050 [1].

Yet there are no effective long-term treatments for Alzheimer's, and the treatments we do have — which hail from the '70s and '80s and treat symptoms for about six months to a year — have been referred to by experts as "better than nothing" [2]. They are far from good enough — and far from a cure.

Sadly, Pfizer has just announced that it is shutting down all research programs for neurological disorders like Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease [3]. This decision will result in hundreds of layoffs and one fewer potential route toward an Alzheimer's cure.

Ultimately, curing Alzheimer's disease is likely to have a multimillion-dollar payoff — but it's not coming soon enough to keep pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer happy. Pfizer has explored routes toward finding a cure for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, including two Alzheimer's drugs that went as far as clinical trials in 2012 and 2017. All their efforts, however, have been abandoned once they were shown to be unsuccessful [3]. Now Pfizer is throwing in the towel, and it's not the first pharmaceutical company to do so.

A few other pharmaceutical giants, including AstraZeneca PLC, Biogen Inc., and Eli Lilly & Co., continue searching for an Alzheimer's cure [3], along with various biotech firms and academic medical research centers [4]. But as costs rise and profits shrink, it seems likely these other entities will drop the ball and follow suit.

In terms of profit, Pfizer's decision makes sense. However, the human implications of Pfizer's choice are devastating. Pharmaceutical companies play a vital role in the continued medical advancements against Alzheimer's and other neurological disorders. Millions of Americans depend on these advancements to improve or maintain their quality of life. Alzheimer's disease is only becoming a bigger problem as baby boomers approach old age, and now is not the time to give up researching a disease that's so prevalent and so life-altering.

Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies must not abandon such work that is critical to finding a cure for Alzheimer's disease. Sign the petition and demand that they continue their vital Alzheimer's research programs.

MORE ON THIS ISSUE

[1] Latest Alzheimer's Facts and Figures. (2016, March 29). Retrieved February 12, 2018, from https://www.alz.org/facts/

[2] Dwyer, C. (2018, January 08). Pfizer Halts Research Into Alzheimer's And Parkinson's Treatments. Retrieved February 12, 2018, from https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/01/08/576443442/pfizer-halts-research-efforts-into-alzheimers-and-parkinsons-treatments

[3] Mellado, P. (2018, January 07). A Big Pharma firm just announced they’re abandoning hunt for Alzheimers and Parkinsons cures. Retrieved February 12, 2018, from http://washingtonpress.com/2018/01/07/big-pharma-firm-just-announced-theyre-abandoning-hunt-alzheimers-parkinsons-cures/

[4] Commentary: Why Is Pfizer Giving Up on Parkinson's and Alzheimer's? (n.d.). Retrieved February 12, 2018, from http://fortune.com/2018/01/16/pfizer-parkinsons-alzheimers-research/

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The Petition:

Dear Pfizer CEO Ian C. Read,

I am truly disappointed that Pfizer has decided to shut down its research programs for neurological disorders like Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. As one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer is certainly a leader in the field of biotech. Such a decision is quite surprising and disheartening when considering the epidemic our country has on its hands.

Over 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's, and that number is only expected to rise. Alzheimer's is the sixth-leading cause of death, yet we have no effective long-term treatments for the disease.

I understand that Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies are feeling pressure to stop searching for cures to these diseases because such efforts pose a financial risk. However, advances in these areas are vital to the health of millions of Americans. Finding a cure will only lead to a multimillion-dollar payoff.

While Pfizer may not be thinking about the human impact of its decisions, billions of other people around the globe are. As the baby boomer generation gets older, more and more people are expected to suffer from the disease. Up to 16 million people are expected to have it by 2050.

These are only a few of the reasons why pharmaceutical companies should continue to do such risky-yet-important research. One in three seniors will die with Alzheimer's, and with a disease so prevalent, finding a cure is direly needed.

I demand that Pfizer continues researching treatments and cures for Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders. Please don't allow profits to be the roadblock that prohibits us from finding a cure.

Sincerely,

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