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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 5, 2007
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
240-221-2905
jamesj@eyeresearch.org

NAEVR EXPRESSES CONCERN ABOUT PRESIDENTíS FY2008 BUDGET PROPOSAL AND ANNOUNCES NIH/NEI FUNDING REQUEST

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) stated its concerns about the proposed funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Eye Institute (NEI) contained in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 budget proposed by President Bush. The President proposes $28.7 billion for the NIH, a $250 million or 0.8 percent increase over the FY2007 Continuing Resolution (CR) but far short of the FY2007 Joint Resolutionís (JR) proposed $28.9 billion funding level (about $511 million or 1.7 percent below the FY2007 JR). The President proposes $668 million for the NEI, a one million or 0.1 percent increase over the FY2007 funding level of $667 million (in the CR and JR).

"The recently-passed NIH Reform Act of 2006 represents a Congressional mandate to adequately fund the NIH, as does the current FY2007 JR passed by the House in January and currently under consideration by the Senate that would increase NIH funding by $620 million—and the Presidentís budget proposal reflects neither of these commitments to medical research," said NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky. He announced that NAEVR will join with the medical research advocacy community in supporting FY2008 NIH funding at $31 billion and NEI funding at $711 million, reflecting a 6.7 percent increase each over funding in the FY2007 Joint Resolution currently being considered by Congress.

"The 6.7 percent increase is necessary to balance the 3.7 percent biomedical inflation rate, to maintain the momentum of discovery and to preclude "missed opportunities" to build upon past investment in basic and clinical research that has resulted in major breakthroughs," said Jorkasky, who added that NAEVR would also urge Congress to complete the appropriations process in a timely fashion such that the continuity of research is not jeopardized and grantees do not need to seek philanthropic or "bridge" funding due to delays in Institutes making awards.

The National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) is a non-profit advocacy coalition comprised of 55 professional, consumer and industry organizations involved in eye and vision research. NAEVRís goal is to achieve the best vision for all Americans through advocacy and public education for eye and vision research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Eye Institute (NEI) and other federal research entities. Visit NAEVRís Web site at www.eyeresearch.org.