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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2017
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
240-221-2905
jamesj@eyeresearch.org

FY2018 TRUMP BUDGET THREATENS THE HEALTH—AND EYE HEALTH—OF ALL AMERICANS
NAEVR CALLS ON CONGRESS TO REJECT THE PROPOSAL AND ADVANCE MEDICAL RESEARCH

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) issued a statement regarding the Trump Administration’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget proposal released today in which National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding would be cut by $7.2 billion, or 21 percent below the enacted FY2017 level, and National Eye Institute (NEI) funding cut by $183 million, or nearly 25 percent below the enacted FY2017 level. Although the proposal states that reimbursement of indirect costs for NIH grants will be capped as a percentage of total research, the exact dollar impact on NIH and its Institutes and Centers (I/Cs) is not specified.

NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky issued the following statement:

“The Trump Administration’s FY2018 budget proposal to significantly reduce NIH funding by $7.2 billion would drastically slow progress on research to find treatments and cures for patients nationwide. Cuts to NIH of such unprecedented magnitude would affect every American, including patients, their families, researchers—especially early-stage investigators—and communities where NIH investment spurs economic growth.

Congress has taken strong bipartisan action in increasing NIH funding by $2 billion in each FY2016 and FY2017, as well as enacting the 21st Century Cures legislation to fund special NIH initiatives. Combined, these efforts have turned around more than a decade of flat funding and biomedical inflation that had reduced NIH’s purchasing power by nearly 25 percent. NAEVR calls upon Congress to reject the Trump budget and continue the pattern of predictable and sustained funding by increasing NIH’s budget by $2 billion in FY2018. NAEVR has joined with 300 organizations representing patient and voluntary health groups, medical and scientific societies, academic and research organizations, and industry in making this recommendation.

The proposed cut to NEI could not have come at a worse time, as the United States faces a major challenge to public health-that from vision loss-especially during this ‘Decade of Vision 2010-2020’ in which the majority of the 78 million Baby Boomers will turn 65 and be at greatest risk for age-related eye disease.

NAEVR will work with Congress to ensure an FY2018 spending package that continues to advance progress in medical research.”

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.