Dem senator calls for 'pouring' money into Alzheimer's research

Dem senator calls for 'pouring' money into Alzheimer's research
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyHillicon Valley: Raimondo wades into 230 debate | Google cuts donations to election result deniers | House GOP unveils tech plan Markey questions Facebook on 'failed commitment' to stop recommending political groups Biden expands on Obama ethics pledge MORE (D-Mass.) on Wednesday called for “pouring” more money into research to find a cure for Alzheimer’s.

Markey compared the effort to find a cure to former President Kennedy’s call for sending a man to the moon.

“To find a research breakthrough in my opinion just requires pouring more and more money at it so you draw smarter people in greater numbers into try to find the clues,” Markey said at an event on the disease hosted by The Hill and sponsored by Biogen and Eisai.

The disease, which targets the brain and leads to loss of memory and other functions, is projected to cost billions and use a growing share of Medicare and Medicaid funding as the population ages.

Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisSenate GOP signals it's likely to acquit Trump for second time Senate committee advances Biden's DHS pick despite Republican pushback Democrat Jeff Jackson jumps into North Carolina Senate race MORE (R-N.C.) called for accelerating the approval of new treatments at the Food and Drug Administration.

“There's good work that's going on with the FDA, there's more work that needs to be done, [to] get as lean as possible so that we can accelerate research,” he said.

He also spoke out in defense of pharmaceutical companies, saying the whole industry should not be painted with the same brush as bad actors like Turing Pharmaceuticals, which was led by CEO Martin Shkreli, who was widely criticized for dramatic drug price hikes.

“When lawmakers treat all biotech and pharmaceutical companies the way that they do bad actors, you will have a chilling effect on risk taking and innovation,” Tillis said.

“Right now it is very, very popular to cast everybody in biotech and Pharma in the same light as let's say Turing Pharmaceuticals,” he added. “That is very dangerous.”