e need a personalised, integrated approach to caring for people with dementia and other long-term disorders, says Age UK Chief Executive Tom Wright.
Speaking at the first Global Dementia Legacy Event in London, Mr Wright described the scale of the dementia challenge facing the global community as ‘truly tremendous’ and called for more investment in research to better understand and fight the disorder.
He said: ‘We must also never lose sight of the fact that with so many people living with dementia today, and with someone new being diagnosed every 4 seconds, we need to do so much more to both prevent and slow down the progression of dementia.’
World health and finance leaders gathered in London to participate at the summit, including the World Health Organization, the OECD, global Alzheimer’s charities, pharmaceutical organisations and investors.
Topics discussed included the global challenge of dementia, the barriers to investment in research and ways to increase investment in innovation.
Age UK believes the approach to tackling this major problem should firmly centre on older people, their families and communities.
Mr Wright said: 'At Age UK, we want to see the types of coordinated care and health interventions that older people need to live as well and as independently as possible for as long as possible, even with dementia.
'Investment in innovation must take a more holistic approach that helps us find better ways to offer the kind of personalised, integrated care we know can make a huge difference.'
Prime Minister David Cameron, who also spoke at the event, pledged immediate action to address the 'market failure' undermining dementia drug development.
Current global spending on dementia is 5 times below research on cancer, with only 3 drugs making it onto the market in the last 15 years.
To help address this issue, the UK will bring forward specific proposals on patent extensions, earlier access to new drugs for patients, greater research collaboration and facilitating much high-levels of investment, by October this year.