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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 6, 2006
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
240-221-2905
jamesj@eyeresearch.org

NAEVR Joins The Medical Research Advocacy Community in Expressing Concern About FY2007 NIH Funding

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) expressed its concern about the funding level for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the President's proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 federal budget. The budget would freeze NIH funding at the FY2006 appropriated level of $28.57 billion and cut most individual Institute budgets from 0.5 to 0.8 percent. The National Eye Institute (NEI) budget would be cut from $666.8 million in FY2006 to $661.4 million in FY2007, a decrease of $5.3 million or 0.8 percent. This proposed decrease comes at a time when the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis projects a biomedical inflation rate of 3.5 percent in FY2007.

NAEVR joined the medical advocacy research community, including the ad hoc Group for Medical Research, Campaign for Medical Research, Federation of Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), National Health Council and Research!America in expressing grave concerns that the proposed FY2007 budget proposal would slow the development of life-saving cures and treatments and undermine the President's own efforts to make the nation more competitive in the world, as set forth in his January 31 State of the Union address.

NAEVR urged the administration and Congress to work to increase the investment in life-saving and life-enhancing medical research. NAEVR requested FY2007 NEI funding at $711 million, which is a 6 percent increase over FY2006. In making this request, NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky stated, "With the aging of the population, disproportionate increased incidence of eye disease in growing minority populations and increased incidence of sight-threatening conditions associated with chronic diseases, now is not the time for a retrenchment in our national commitment to vision health."

The National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) is a non-profit advocacy coalition comprised of more than 50 professional, consumer and industry organizations involved in eye and vision research. NAEVR's goal is to achieve the best vision for all Americans through advocacy and public education for eye and vision research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Eye Institute (NEI) and other federal research entities. Visit NAEVR's Web site at www.eyeresearch.org.