Rethinking Alzheimer’s disease

Rethinking Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a research-driven project offering policy recommendations to make tangible changes with the aim to improve the lives of people living with Alzheimer’s disease across Europe.

About Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that progresses in stages, beginning with a long silent phase before symptoms occur. It is the underlying cause in 70% of people with dementia. Dementia, which is not a specific disease but an overall term that describes a group of symptoms, is characterised by a decline in memory, thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday activities.

It is estimated that 7 million people in Europe alone already live with Alzheimer’s disease. With a rapidly ageing population, it is a growing public health concern worldwide as this number is projected to rise to a staggering 14 million by 2030.

The societal and economic cost of dementia in Europe is also very high and estimated to increase over EUR 250 billion by 2030 (with over 50% of this due to informal care costs), the equivalent of the whole GDP of Finland. AD is thus not only a debilitating and progressive disease affecting the daily lives of people, their families and carers, but also a huge burden for our economy and European nations’ healthcare and social care systems. Healthcare systems in Europe currently lack the capacity to detect, diagnose and treat AD effectively.

Rethinking Alzheimer’s disease

EBC and EFPIA will collaborate with experts from different  European countries to build an interdisciplinary consensus around practical and sustainable policy responses to Alzheimer’s disease that will aim to improve the lives of people living with it.

Now is the time to rethink Alzheimer’s disease to improve Alzheimer’s disease care pathway and the lives of people living with it.

Focus areas

As different countries face specific challenges, it is important to consider the national context when advocating for policy change. For this reason, Rethinking AD will take a closer look at the national context in 5 European countries (Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden) with the aim to provide tailored solutions and policy recommendations to create a new patient pathway and care journey.

Building on the outcomes of the paper on “Alzheimer’s Disease Health System Readiness – The Time to Act is Now”, launched by EFPIA in 2020, the recommendations will focus on 2 areas in 2022: detection and diagnosis. The project will continue in 2023 with a focus on AD interventions and treatment, and monitoring.



AD Interventions and treatment  



The European Brain Council (EBC) is a network of key players in the “Brain Area”, with a membership encompassing scientific societies, patient organisations, professional societies and industry partners. A non-profit organisation based in Brussels, its main mission is to promote brain research with the ultimate goal of improving the lives of the estimated 179 million Europeans living with brain conditions, mental and neurological alike.

The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) represents the biopharmaceutical industry operating in Europe. Through its direct membership of 37 national associations, 38 leading pharmaceutical companies and a growing number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), EFPIA’s mission is to create a collaborative environment that enables our members to innovate, discover, develop and deliver new therapies and vaccines for people across Europe, as well as contribute to the European economy.


To help improve the quality of life and care for people living with AD in Europe, the following organisations endorse the RETHINKING Alzheimer’s disease White Paper, including the call to action and policy recommendations.

The project “RETHINKING Alzheimer’s disease” is supported by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). All outputs are non-promotional and not specific to any particular treatment or therapy.