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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2011
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
240-221-2905
jamesj@eyeresearch.org

NAEVR: PRESIDENT OBAMA’S PROPOSED FY2012 NIH FUNDING RECOGNIZES VALUE OF RESEARCH, SENDS STRONG MESSAGE TO CONGRESS ABOUT SPENDING PRIORITIES

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) issued a statement about the Obama Administration’s proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Eye Institute (NEI). The proposal would increase NIH funding by $745 million, or a 2.4 percent increase over the FY2010 level, to $31.7 billion, and increase NEI funding by $12.4 million, or 1.8 percent over the FY2010 level, to $719.06 million. NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky commented as follows:

“NAEVR fully appreciates the Obama Administration’s commitment to biomedical research by making NIH funding a priority in this challenging economic environment through a proposed inflationary increase in FY2012. We must ensure that NIH maintains the current momentum of research and fully leverages the expanded capacity for research, as evidenced by the number of high quality grant applications submitted in response to American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) opportunities in both FY2009 and 2010. As a result, NAEVR urges Congress to use the Obama proposal as a promising starting point for discussions leading to FY2012 NIH funding of $35 billion, and has already begun actively voicing that message on Capitol Hill. Although NAEVR realizes that FY2011 funding has not been finalized, and proposed bills call for a range of options from flat funding to cuts to the FY2008 level, $35 billion reflects the level at which NIH can optimally operate to address unmet medical needs, reduce healthcare costs, increase productivity, and ensure the continued global competitiveness of the United States.

In its FY2012 advocacy, NAEVR will continue to cite the basic and clinical/translational research breakthroughs emerging from NEI-funded research to save vision and restore sight, which can reduce healthcare costs, maintain productivity, ensure independence, and enhance quality of life. In 2009, Congress spoke volumes in passing H. Res. 366 and S. Res. 209, which acknowledged NEI’s 40th anniversary and designated 2010-2020 as The Decade of Vision. In this decade, more than half of the 78 million Baby Boomers will turn 65 years of age and be at greatest risk for developing aging eye disease.”

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.