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More focus needed on dementia research

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Prime Minister David Cameron has announced steps to encourage investment and speed up the process on developing dementia treatments.

The UK government will look at giving patients earlier access to new drugs that would take years to become available in the current system, working with manufacturers, regulators and developers to ensure that new dementia medicines are affordable to countries across the globe and working with the international community to discuss ways of creating a global fund to encourage new advances in drug development.

Mr Cameron announced this to coincide with the Council at the Global Dementia Legacy Event on Finance and Social Investment in Dementia on 19 June.

At the event Dr Dennis Gillings, world dementia envoy, highlighted that the progress on dementia was ‘achingly slow'.

‘Just as the world came together in the fight against HIV/AIDS, we need to free up regulation so that we can test groundbreaking new drugs, and examine whether the period for market exclusivity could be extended,' he said.

‘Without this radical change, we won't make progress in the fight against dementia.'

He outlined three key areas where progress was required. These were: the ratio of risk to reward facing pharmaceutical companies investing in dementia, the need to stimulate investment in research and development and better international coordination and interpretation of social media and big data.

The UK is launching the world's largest study into dementia with two million people, through the Medical Research Council and industry partners. Alzheimer's Research UK will also launch a £100million campaign called Defeat Dementia.

This was the first Global Dementia Legacy Event to take place in London since the G8 Dementia summit in December 2013.

For more information about the progress on dementia visit: http://dementiachallenge.dh.gov.uk/

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