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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2008
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
240-221-2905
jamesj@eyeresearch.org

NAEVR Commends Senate Leaders for Proposing $1 Billion NIH Increase in Economic Stimulus that Recognizes the Short- and Long-Term Value of Investment in Medical Research

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) commended Senate leaders for including a $1 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the $100.3 billion economic recovery package introduced today. In a statement, NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky said:

"The Senate’s inclusion of NIH funding in the economic stimulus package is an important recognition of the value of investing in medical research-both short-term with respect to salaries, indirect expenses, supplies and equipment, and long-term with respect to prevention, preemption, diagnostic, and treatment strategies that reduce healthcare costs, increase productivity, and save and improve lives.

As recently as the November 13 House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing, Acting NIH Director Raynard Kington, M.D., Ph.D., testified about the economic impact of NIH grants, stating that funds made available to the NIH could be administered quickly and with little overhead. He also noted that each $500 million increment of additional NIH funding translates into 1,400 grants and 9,000 jobs.

In addition to increases that restore NIH’s purchasing power, which has declined in the past five appropriations cycles due to flat funding and biomedical inflation, NIH needs sustainable annual increases of at least 3 percent, plus the biomedical inflation rate (currently 3.5 percent)."

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.