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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 24, 2014
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
240-221-2905
jamesj@eyeresearch.org

NAEVR ENDORSES THE ACCELERATE BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH ACT INTRODUCED TODAY BY SENATOR TOM HARKIN

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) endorsed the Accelerate Biomedical Research Act (S. 2658) introduced by Senate Labor, Health, and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Tom Harkin (D-IA). S. 2658 gives the Appropriations Committee the authority to increase funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as long as appropriators provide $29.9 billion for NIH each Fiscal Year (FY). In total, appropriations may provide up to $46.2 billion at the end of the seven year period from FY2015-2021. The additional funding allows an initial increase of 10 percent in each of the first two years, followed by 5 percent increases each year thereafter.

In endorsing the bill, NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky stated:

“NAEVR wishes to thank Senator Harkin for his leadership in introducing S. 2658 to ensure adequate funding for the NIH. NAEVR agrees with the Senator’s July 24 floor statement where he said that ‘It is time for us on a bipartisan basis to reverse this erosion of support for biomedical research to ensure America’s standing as a world leader in this field.’

Indeed, vision research funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI) has made the United States a world leader in saving and restoring vision. But the NEI’s future challenges are enormous, especially with the recently projected cost for eye disorders by year 2050 at $373.2 billion—$717 billion when adjusted for inflation—driven by an aging population and the disproportionate incidence of eye disease in fast-growing minority populations.

In endorsing this bill, NAEVR also calls upon Congress to develop an overall future funding framework that eschews sequester cuts, flat funding, and lack of inflationary increases to ensure that the United States biomedical research enterprise is adequately funded to maintain its world leadership while generating life-saving and life-enhancing treatments and technologies for patients.”

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.