News from NAEVR/AEVR
NAEVR Issues FY2021 NIH/NEI and DOD/VRP Funding Positions
In concert with the research advocacy community, NAEVR is requesting that Congress fund the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at $44.7 Billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, a $3 Billion or 7.2 percent increase over the FY2020 program level of $41.7 Billion. This increase is necessary to provide inflation-plus-growth increases to the Institutes and Centers; fund special initiatives, including the Innovation Account mandated under the 21st Century Cures Act; and support the next generation of scientists through funding early-stage investigators. NAEVR requests that Congress fund the National Eye Institute (NEI) at $875 Million, a $51 Million or 6.2 percent increase over FY2020. Even with NEI funding increases of $148 Million total in the FY2016-2020 timeframe, Congress must continue to rebuild the NEI budget which lost purchasing power due to prior flat funding and less-than-inflation increases.
Regarding the Department of Defense (DOD) Vision Research Program (VRP), NAEVR requests FY2021 funding at $30 Million, a $10 Million increase over FY2020. NAEVR cites AEVR’s 2018 Cost of Military Eye Injury study, published in the January 2019 online edition of Military Medicine journal, that estimates cost of combat-related eye injuries in the 2000-2017 timeframe at $41.5 Billion, with $40.2 Billion of that reflecting the present value of a lifetime of benefits, lost wages, and family care. Additionally, the VRP can only fund a fraction of the grants with both scientific merit and program relevance.
AEVR Announces February 26 World Glaucoma Week Congressional Briefing
To support NAEVR’s funding requests, AEVR will hold a World Glaucoma Week 2020 Congressional Briefing on Wednesday, February 26, from 12 Noon -1:15 pm in House Rayburn 2045. Held in conjunction with members of the American Glaucoma Society educating Capitol Hill about the impact of glaucoma, the Briefing features AEVR President Paul Lee, MD, JD speaking about The Impact of Federal Funding on Glaucoma Research and Clinical Practice.