Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, 9 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JQ, 16:00, 09 February 2011

Kindly supported by Pfizer

The costs associated with dementia now total one per cent of global GDP, at a worldwide cost of £388bn. With an ageing population the costs are set to soar further, based only on predicted increases in the number of people with dementia, by 2030 we could see an estimated 85% increase in costs (World Alzheimer Report, 2010). This growth will put additional pressures on public finances whilst also increasing demand for formal and informal care.

Indeed dementia has been described as the most significant health and social care crisis of the 21st century and how respective governments respond will be crucial in light of the burgeoning figures. All countries will need to prioritise spending on dementia and yet at the same time reconcile need, want and value for the public purse in the coming years. Certain policy interventions on dementia could reap rewards of their own, particularly with regard to early diagnosis, prevention and investment in research and development.

The aim of the event was to discuss this critical agenda and bring together politicians, policy-makers, voluntary organisations, the private sector and academics. We hope to explore and examine the ‘real cost’ of dementia and develop recommendations for future policy interventions.

During this event we:

  • set the scene and look at the prevalence, incidence, mortality rate and disability burden of dementia at the UK and global level;
  • explored the direct and indirect cost of dementia to the public purse, today and tomorrow;
  • explored the impact of dementia on the financial services industry; and
  • explored cost effective policy interventions and the cost of inaction (early diagnosis, prevention/dementia research).

Agenda from the event:

16.00 - 16.30
Registration and refreshments.
16.30 - 16.35
Welcome and introduction by chair, Stewart Ritchie, Past President of the Faculty of Actuaries.
16.35 –18.25
Presentations by:

  • Professor June Andrews, Director of the Dementia Services Development Centre in the Department of Applied Social Science at the University of Stirling, Scotland.
  • Professor Martin Prince, Professor of Epidemiological Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London and Co – Director, King’s Health Partners and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Centre for Global Mental Health.
  • Henry Simmons, Chief Executive, Alzheimer Scotland.

Panel discussion with audience.
18.25 – 18.30
Close followed by a drinks reception.

Go to for live text and audio updates from the ILC-UK and Actuarial Profession Joint Debate: 'Future Economic, Health & Social Care Costs of Dementia' at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh as it unfolds.

Interested parties were able to follow the debate in real time, hear key information and insights from the speakers, and add their thoughts and comments to the event through the comment box or using twitter and the hashtag #DementiaCosts.

This page was covered live from 4pm on Wed 9th Feb, and was available both during and after the event to read and engage with.