|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2019
|CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
NAEVR SUPPORTS RE-INTRODUCED EYE BONDS LEGISLATION TO ADVANCE TREATMENTS FOR BLINDNESS/VISION IMPAIRMENT
(Washington, D.C.) On May 9, bipartisan cosponsors in the House introduced The Faster Treatments and Cures for Eye Diseases Act, H.R. 2620. The legislation was first introduced as H.R. 6421 in July 2018 in the 115th Congress, which adjourned without taking action on the bill. This session, the legislation has six original cosponsors, including Cong. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) and Cong. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) as the lead, with Cong. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Cong. Tom OHalleran (D-AZ), Cong. Brad Schneider (D-IL), Cong Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Cong. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA). It was referred to the House Energy & Commerce Committee.
On May 15, NAEVR President Paul Lee, MD, JD (Kellogg Eye Center/University of Michigan) sent a letter to H.R. 2620's original cosponsors reiterating the Alliances support.
Last year, then-NAEVR President Peter McDonnell, MD, sent a letter to the four original cosponsors expressing the Alliance's strong support. NAEVR continues its support for this legislation which allows for the creation of Eye Bonds to finance packages of loans that would total $1 billion for new projects over four years in the pilot phase. Underwriters would determine how many projects they would fund and at what amount, not to exceed $250 million in any year. The Eye Bonds are focused on translational research, meaning promising research from bench to bedside for all aspects of vision, including retinal diseases, cornea and optic nerve conditions, glaucoma, and eye injuries experienced by wounded veterans. The National Eye Institute (NEI) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would investigate and evaluate programs eligible for funding, although NIH would have no risk related to funding these projects.
NAEVR is pleased to be working with the Foundation Fighting Blindness and other vision community partners in actively supporting the legislation, including recruiting additional cosponsors and urging support during upcoming Capitol Hill Advocacy Days.
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.