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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 21, 2015
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
240-221-2905
jamesj@eyeresearch.org

NAEVR COMMENDS HOUSE 21ST CENTURY CURES LEGISLATION’S AUTHORIZING LEVELS FOR NIH, NEW INNOVATION FUND

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) commended the leadership of the House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee on its successful markup of H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures bill, with the purpose of accelerating the discovery, development, and delivery of cures. Although wide-sweeping in its scope and impact on federal agencies, NAEVR has focused on the bill’s authorizing levels for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which would increase by $1.5 billion per-year for the next three Fiscal Years (FY), and its establishment of a new Innovation Fund at $2 billion per-year for the next five Fiscal Years for a total of $10 billion for basic, translational, and clinical research, including funding for early-stage investigators.

NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky stated the following:

“NAEVR commends House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton (R-MI), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-CO), full Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA), and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX) for their commitment to patients through the 21st Century Cures legislation. These Members and their staff have worked tirelessly to develop this legislation through an open process that sought input from all stakeholders.

NAEVR is most encouraged by the authorizing levels for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the next three Fiscal Years, as well as the establishment of and authorized $10 billion in funding over the next five Fiscal Years for the new Innovation Fund. We look forward to House passage of the bill and coordination with the Senate Health, Educational, Labor, and Pensions Committee to bring this meaningful legislation to fruition in this session of Congress.

In the various listening sessions held by staff, as well as in the Health Subcommittee and full E&C Committee markup, there was consensus about the need to adequately fund biomedical research. NAEVR now looks to Congressional appropriations leaders to make that intent a reality, especially since the NIH has lost 23 percent of its purchasing power since FY2003.

In the March 3 and April 30 hearings of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Subcommittees of the House and Senate, respectively, Members on a bipartisan basis cited the recognized value of biomedical research and the need for Congress to arrive at a balanced plan for deficit reduction that would enable NIH funding increases.

NAEVR will continue to work with the authorizers and appropriators to put NIH back on track for sustained and predictable funding.”

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.