The Economic and Societal Cost of Alzheimer's Disease in Australia, 2021-2041 Report
A new report from the University of Canberra’s National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) reveals the staggering future economic cost of Alzheimer's disease, and its impact on Australia’s workforce, patients, families and communities.
The report, commissioned by Biogen ANZ, expands on NATSEM and Dementia Australia’s Economic Cost of Dementia in Australia 2016-2056 Report released in 2017 and projects a 20-year $442 billion impact to the Australian economy.
The report indicates the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease is expected to almost double to 38,000 by 2041, leading to an increase in annual costs of $26.6 billion including direct costs (aged care, hospital and out of hospital services) of $9.8 billion and indirect costs (informal care, lost productivity, and income support) of $16.8 billion by 2041.
“The modelling paints a significant challenge to government, health and aged care systems into the future,” commented report author Professor Laurie Brown. “The numbers also provide insight into the ripple effect on families and the community as they struggle to care for people living with the disease.”
The report also investigated the potential impact of a disease modifying therapy on the numbers, with modelling indicating there is an opportunity to reduce the burden on aged care over the 20 years by $7.9 billion, the cost of formal care in the community by $880 million and informal care by $4.2 billion – totalling $12.98 billion.
However, while the modelling suggests the introduction of a disease modifying therapy has the potential to lessen the future impact of Alzheimer’s disease, it is only part of the solution.
The findings in this report attest to the importance of developing and implementing a system and society-wide approach, in alignment with the anticipated national dementia strategic approach to ensure those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease can be provided with the best possible clinical outcomes and quality of life in the future.
This first-of-its kind data reinforces the findings from the recent White Paper on the Future of Alzheimer's disease in Australia that revealed the need for urgent collaboration and action in the healthcare system to manage the growing impact of the disease.