|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2009
|CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
NAEVR Expresses Concern Over The Obama Administration's Proposed FY2010 NIH/NEI Funding and Urges Congress to Improve Upon These Numbers
(Washington, D.C.) Today, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) stated its concern about the funding levels for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Eye Institute (NEI) that are proposed in the Obama Administration’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 budget. The NIH and NEI would have funding increases of 1.4 percent and one percent, respectively, not even matching the biomedical inflation rate, let alone re-building the NIH base. NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky issued the following statement:
“The Obama Administration has previously signaled strong support for biomedical research. The FY2010 budget’s proposed funding for the NIH and NEI falls short of that goal. The increase is not even inflationary, and is significantly less than the seven percent increase requested by NAEVR of Congress, which reflects a modest three percent increase plus biomedical inflation that would restore purchasing power lost due to flat funding and biomedical inflation over the past six funding cycles.
NAEVR has acknowledged the Administration and Congress for their support of biomedical research with the $10.4 billion of NIH funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the final FY2009 appropriations inclusion of an inflationary increase of 3.2 percent. However, the NIH needs consistent and predictable funding to rebuild its base, especially to ensure sustainability of the biomedical research enterprise in FY2011 and beyond, after the stimulative dollars of the AARA expire.
NAEVR is especially concerned about the proposed one percent increase in NEI funding. The year 2010 begins a decade in which more than half of the 78 million Baby Boomers will turn 65 years of age and be at greatest risk for developing aging eye disease. This is not the time for a minimal increase in our nation’s commitment to vision health. NEI-funded research is resulting in treatments and therapies that can save vision and restore sight, which can reduce healthcare costs, maintain productivity, ensure independence, and enhance quality of life.”
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.