There are some promising drugs in the Alzheimer’s pipeline, but a panel of experts asked to predict the potential financial impact of new treatments was not optimistic that a cure is imminent. Roy Beveridge, an oncologist who is chief medical officer for the insurer Humana, told a group of actuaries this week in Philadelphia that he expected to see cancer cures before drug developers figure out how to stop dementia. Beveridge was part of a panel discussion at the annual health meeting of the Society of Actuaries, which brought more than a thousand number crunchers to the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. Their job is to predict risks and costs. People with dementia, who can live for years with increasing disability, are especially costly: The United States likely will spend $236 billion this year on their medical care, long-term care, and hospice. As one panelist pointed out, however, much of their care is provided — without pay — by family members. Because of the aging baby-boom generation, the number of people with dementia is likely to nearly triple by 2050 to 13.8 million.
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Source/more: Philadelphia Inquirer