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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 30, 2017
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
240-221-2905
jamesj@eyeresearch.org

NAEVR TO SENATE REGARDING FY2018 APPROPRIATIONS: FUND NIH AT $36.1 BILLION, NEI AT $800 MILLION

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) submitted written testimony to the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee regarding Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Eye Institute (NEI) funding.

After thanking Congress for the $2 billion NIH increases in each FY2016 and 2017, NAEVR called upon the Senate to reject the Trump Administration’s FY2018 budget proposal and support a $2 billion NIH increase to a funding level of $36.1 billion. NAEVR wrote, “The FY2018 increase should bolster NIH base funding, especially for the Institutes and Centers (I/Cs)—in addition to the supplemental funding for specific projects in the 21st Century Cures Act—reflecting real growth above biomedical inflation, estimated at 2.7 percent in FY2018.”

With respect to the I/Cs, NAEVR requested FY2018 NEI funding at $800 million to continue to restore our nation’s commitment to vision research, stressing that NEI’s FY2017 enacted level of $733 million is just four percent greater than its pre-sequester FY2012 funding level—meaning that it had taken five fiscal years for its budget to experience any meaningful growth. NAEVR wrote, “We must maintain the momentum of vision research since vision health is vital to overall health and quality of life.” In subsequent text, NAEVR highlighted the following points with links to supporting publications and studies:

  • NEI’s budget is not keeping pace with the burden of eye disease.
  • NEI research is vital in meeting vision loss prevention goals
  • Investing now in the NEI can save on future expenditures
  • Congress should robustly fund the NEI as it nears its 50th anniversary during the “Decade of Vision 2010-2020.”
On March 7, NAEVR submitted written testimony to the House LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee which, in addition to requesting the FY2018 NIH/NEI funding levels, also requested that Congress finalize FY2017 appropriations with a $2 billion NIH increase—which it did prior to the Continuing Resolution expiring on April 28.

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.