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October 21, 2009
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director


(Washington, D.C.) Today, National Medical Research Day, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) issued a statement on the importance of vision research:

"On behalf of the eye and vision research community, NAEVR is proud to participate in activities in support of National Medical Research Day. More than ever, vision research funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is bringing hope to individuals by preventing blindness and restoring vision.

In 2009, the United States Congress recognized these efforts by passing H. Res 366 and S. Res 209, which acknowledged NEIís 40th anniversary and designated 2010-2020 as the Decade of Vision. NAEVR calls on the Obama Administration and Congress to work together to ensure robust medical research funding, especially for vision, since:

  • The first wave of 78 million Baby Boomers will turn 65 in 2010, and each day for 18 years afterwards, 10,000 Americans will turn 65.

  • The fast-growing Hispanic and African American populations experience disproportionate incidence of eye disease.

  • More than 50 million Americans will be blind, have low vision, or an age-related eye disease by 2020 unless they receive appropriate treatments and therapies.
The NEI is a leader in basic research, working with NIHís Human Genome Project to translate discoveries of genes related to eye disease and vision impairment, which comprises one-quarter of all genes discovered to-date, into diagnostics and treatments. NEI is also a leader in clinical research, funding more than 60 clinical trials.

Vision research means hope—to increase productivity, maintain independence, and improve quality of life. By delaying and preventing healthcare expenditures, especially those by the Medicare and Medicaid programs, it is also a cost-effective investment."

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