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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 29, 2014
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
240-221-2905
jamesj@eyeresearch.org

NAEVR ON STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS: ADMINISTRATION AND CONGRESS MUST RESTORE SEQUESTER CUTS TO NIH/NEI AND GROW THE RESEARCH BUDGET

(Washington, D.C.) Today, National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) Executive Director James Jorkasky issued a statement regarding President Obama’s comment in the State of the Union address, “and that’s why Congress should undo the damage done by last year’s cuts to basic research so we can unleash the next great American discovery:”

“The vision research community appreciates that the President not only acknowledged the devastating impact of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 sequester cuts on basic research—such as that funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its National Eye Institute (NEI)—but that this investment yields breakthroughs, such as NEI research to save sight and restore vision.

NAEVR challenges the President, just as it has challenged the Congress in its statement thanking it for partially restoring the sequester cuts in FY2014 appropriations, to work together in a bipartisan fashion to fully eliminate sequester cuts and grow the NIH and NEI budgets, which experienced a reduction in purchasing power of 25 percent over the past ten years due to flat budgets and biomedical inflation.

The vision community looks forward to working with the Administration and Congress in the FY2015 appropriations process to ensure that NEI is adequately funded to meet our nation’s vision health challenges—which are significant as a result of an aging population and the impact of chronic diseases on vision—which are driving the cost of eye disorders in the United States to $139 billion annually. Our nation’s investment in vision health is an investment in overall health that can increase productivity, preserve independence, and improve the quality of life.”

The National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) is a 501(c)4 non-profit advocacy coalition comprised of 55 professional, consumer, and industry organizations involved in eye and vision research. Visit the Web site at www.eyeresearch.org.