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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 29, 2012
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
240-221-2905
jamesj@eyeresearch.org

NAEVR RELEASES FY2013 FUNDING REQUESTS TO CONGRESS: AT LEAST $32 BILLION FOR NIH AND $730 MILLION FOR NEI, $10 MILLION FOR PEER REVIEWED VISION TRAUMA RESEARCH

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) released its legislative positions regarding Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Eye Institute (NEI) in the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) appropriations bill, as well as the Peer Reviewed Vision Trauma Research Program (VTRP) in the Defense appropriations bill.

NIH Funding Level of at Least $32 billion, NEI Funding at $730 million:

NAEVR urges Congress to fund NIH at a level of at least $32 billion, which reflects a $1.38 billion, or 4.5 percent increase, over FY2012. This increase consists of biomedical inflation of 2.8 percent plus modest growth.

  • After nearly a decade of budgets below biomedical inflation, NIH’s inflation-adjusted funding is close to 20 percent lower than in FY2003. Even before adjusting for inflation, enacted spending bills in recent years have cut the NIH budget. The looming sequestration mandated by the Budget Control Act threatens further cuts, estimated between 8 and 10 percent in FY2013 alone.

  • The United States must capitalize on previous NIH investment to drive research progress, train the next generation of scientists, create new jobs, promote economic growth, and maintain leadership in the global innovation economy.

  • Funding at $730 million enables NEI to follow up on its past breakthrough research- such as the identification of more than 500 genes associated with both common and rare eye diseases-to develop treatments that save and restore sight.
VTRP Funding at $10 Million:

NAEVR urges Congress to fund the VTRP at $10 million since it is a dedicated funding source for extramural vision research into immediate battlefield needs which is not conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), elsewhere within the Department of Defense (DOD), including the Joint DOD/VA Vision Center of Excellence, or the NEI. NAEVR stresses that the VTRP is military-relevant, addresses DOD-identified research gaps, and has the potential for rapid translation into battlefield diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

The Alliance for Eye and Vision Research’s (AEVR) Decade of Vision 2010-2020 Initiative will hold the following Congressional Briefings in March 2012 to support NAEVR’s requests: 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.

In H. Res 366 and S. Res. 209 passed in 2009, Congress designated 2010-2020 as The Decade of Vision and acknowledged the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research’s (AEVR) Decade of Vision 2010-2020 Initiative’s efforts to provide sustained education about the impact of eye disease and vision impairment.