FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2012
|CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
NAEVR REQUESTS FY2013 NEI FUNDING OF $730 MILLION AT
HOUSE PUBLIC WITNESS HEARING AND IN WRITTEN TESTIMONY SUBMITTED TO THE SENATE
(Washington, D.C.) Today, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) submitted testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate in support of Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding of at least $32 billion and National Eye Institute (NEI) funding of $730 million.
House of Representatives:
NAEVR was selected as one of twenty organizations to provide Public Witness testimony before the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee. NAEVR was represented by clinician-scientist Hendrik Scholl, The Dr. Frieda Bambas Professor of Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Scholl focused primarily on NEI funding, urging the Subcommittee not to cut its funding by $8.9 million to a level of $693 million, as proposed in the President’s budget, noting that:
“The proposed FY2013 level is just slightly above the FY2009 level. It results in a net $14 million loss in NEI funding since its highest funding level in FY2010, which translates into about 40 research grants-any one of which could hold the promise of curing a blinding eye disease. It also represents just a little over one percent of the $68 billion that blindness and vision impairment cost the United States each year.”
The House Subcommittee’s Public Witness hearing follows a March 20 hearing featuring NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., who supported the Administration’s FY2013 request for NIH funding at $30.7 billion, the same as in FY2012.
The Senate LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee held its hearing with Dr. Collins on March 28 and NAEVR followed up by submitting its written testimony. The Senate Subcommittee does not plan to hold a Public Witness hearing.
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.